About YouTube

youtube.jpgYouTube ( is the most popular site for posting and sharing videos. In addition to millions of home movie-style clips made by young people, YouTube hosts "how to" guides for doing everything from cooking mashed potatoes to building a birdhouse — there are even how-to videos for surviving a zombie attack. People can easily upload short videos that can be tagged, commented upon, and shared through links or by embedding the video in another web page. A new feature even allows for simple online video editing. Sometimes, a video created by amateurs and uploaded to YouTube strikes a popular chord and is viewed by millions of people, each of whom passes it on through tweets, Facebook updates, and other channels — in other words, the video goes "viral."

How do I use it?

The simplest use is to search for and view videos about topics that interest you. YouTube has it all: interviews, excerpts from movies and television shows, step-by-step guides, opinion pieces. Once you find and watch something, you can leave a comment about it on the page, or mark it as a favorite to watch later. If you're really inspired, you can make a short video response and link it to the original. Of course, you can create and publish videos of your own, or create a YouTube Channel for your museum to house video you want to share.

Why is it important?

YouTube has turned what previously was a complex and challenging technical task — uploading video in a format that can be viewed online — into something almost anyone can do, and it provides a free platform for making your videos available to others. Because its is designed around making it easy to share videos, it is a useful service for publishing content about your organization.

YouTube Tips

  • Create and customize a YouTube channel, a home page for your video content or that of your museum.
  • Use descriptive titles for your videos and provide descriptive captions (these can include URLs to point to your web site content).
  • Be active with other users in your interest area — add comments to their videos and favorite the ones you like best.
  • Use Playlists to create collections or sets of videos.
  • Explore features like annotations that allows you to provide notes and indicators into your videos.
  • Leverage your reach by spreading videos around. Embed videos into your web site or blog or post links to your twitter account or Facebook page. Check your account profile for settings to automatically publish your YouTube activity to other social media services.
  • A word of caution: the comments on many YouTube videos are notoriously juvenile. Don't get sucked in to conversations that are not substantive or constructive.

Getting Started

Museums and YouTube

Listening in YouTube

See Also

Similar Services

Notes and Questions

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