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February 12, 2012 / caitlynzim

Persuading the MMC Team: Why YouTube?

The use of YouTube to broadcast support videos and past webinars, in the case of Marine Cadastre, will allow a wider audience to easily search for MMC videos.


Potential Benefits of YouTube

YouTube is a potentially powerful site allowing your content to “go viral”. Users do not need to be registered to YouTube in order to view its’ contents and content can be found using a simple Google search. YouTube is low maintenance and takes little manpower to keep up; videos previously created for the Marine Cadastre website, webinars that were recorded, or even other conference presentations that were recorded can be uploaded to YouTube and comments can be monitored once a week or more (depending on time available) to check for unruly comments or comments needing response. YouTube also does a decent job of monitoring comments in this way. These videos are then available for all users and future users to access.

Tags can be added that will allow this content to result in a Google search of terms such as ocean data, GIS, wind energy or any other tags deemed appropriate. Within the description section, a link to the original source of the video (within the Marine Cadastre page) can be included to direct users back for more information, which is required within NOAA guidelines.


Potential Drawbacks of YouTube

A seemingly difficult aspect required by NOAA/NOS is that all videos with sound need to have captions. YouTube is experimenting with its’ own captioning software and it works rather well, however, still has the occasional error. NOS lists captioning software available for use such as QuickTime Pro, Caption Reporters, Closed Caption Maker, Automatic Sync Technologies and others listed here

The biggest issue with a YouTube account is that NOS requests that all line offices use the main NOS account to submit videos. This is due to the fact that YouTube wants to limit government use of its services. BOEM would have to be consulted in order to determine if using the NOS account is a viable option. The other potential solution would be to use Flickr’s video posting capabilities (see Why Flickr?) or to post videos through Facebook.

Overall, it seems that NOS is willing to support and post Marine Cadastre videos if BOEM is comfortable with this option. However, it seems more beneficial to investigate Flickr or utilize Facebook’s abilities to upload video so the videos are not directly associated with NOAA/NOS.


SIDENOTE: As with Flickr, I wrote this proposal before we decided to go with Facebook. We’ve now chosen to use Facebook’s video capabilities in order to avoid associating MMC’s videos with NOS or NOAA. The MMC is a joint venture with BOEM and we pride ourselves in promoting both groups equally.


How does this apply to you?

YouTube is a great site for sharing videos. It has been around forever, shows up high on Google searches, and has new features to make it even more desirable.  Keyword searches allow easy searching and YouTube now offers even more suggested videos, suggested channels, trending topics and popular videos. This, combined with users’ ability to subscribe to your channel makes YouTube a great way to share science videos.

Beyond that, you can use YouTube to embed your videos inside your website (then direct viewers to your YouTube channel to find more great science videos), save favorites, edit videos, allow for captions (using YouTube’s captioning software), the list goes on.

Not sure what a “science video” is? Well, take a look at PsiVid blog on Scientific American. It showcases great science videos, some of which are created by research labs! So search around, get inspired, get a YouTube account and get involved in science movies!


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