Monday, 8 July 2013

Thing 21: YouTube and online video

Video has become a hugely important part of the web - people increasingly learn by watching film rather than reading instructions. YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google - more people run searches on there for videos each day, than run searches for EVERYTHING on Bing, Yahoo, and all the rest.

There's a million and one things we could write about this topic, but I want to keep this brief. If you want more info on how to create video here's a column I wrote on this topic for Library Journal; we're going to focus on YouTube here but if you want to read a comparison between YouTube and Vimeo, the other big video sharing site, I've written one here.

Image via IconFinder

YouTube: what is it? 

YouTube is the biggest video sharing site on the net, and one of the most popular and used sites of any kind. Some stats:

  • More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
  • Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube – that's almost an hour for every person on Earth, and 50% more than last year
  • 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

That's just the tip of the iceberg, really - you can find lots more on YouTube's own stats page.

Why use it?

YouTube is great for distributing information. The Directorate's YouTube channel can be found here - Our most popular video (the virtual tour of the Library) has over 3,000 views and in total people have watched over thirteen thousand minutes of our videos! It's hard to imagine any other way to reach that number of people with that amount of information.

But it's also great for finding information. YouTube is full of videos of cats being cute and people falling over, to be sure, but it's also got a load of really useful, legitimate and relevant content to. You don't have to be a creator of videos to find things on the site which can help you professionally.

Activity: find and share a useful video 

Obviously we can't set an activity of creating a video, as that would take technical expertise, equipment resources, and a massive amount of time. So the activity for this Thing, which should take 5 to 10 minutes, is just to go to and find a video which is useful to you professionally. So in other words search YouTube for something relevant to working in IT, libraries or archives, or about social media and Web 2.0 tools. Then either post a link to it on your 23 Things blog (embed it if you know how!), post it to the Padlet Wall from the previous post, Tweet it if you're on Twitter.

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