Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Getting Around YouTube

This is the eighth in a series on Social Media.

No exploration of the giants of social media would be complete without YouTube, the largest of the video sharing sites. There is no question that YouTube is responsible for some of the Web's most successful viral campaigns (messages that take on lives of their own). Once your video is on YouTube, you can import it into a blog post and embed it in your own Website, thus tripling its exposure.

There are two aspects to YouTube: posting your own videos and watching other people's. Yours can be as simple as sitting in front of a camcorder and talking or as professionally produced as you can afford. Two pieces of advice when you make a video: keep it short and make it memorable—humorous, genuine, out of the ordinary.

When you visit
YouTube, you will be prompted to set up an account or log in. In the upper right hand corner, under your name and a little drop down menu with My Channel, Inbox, Account, Subscriptions, My Videos, and Favorites. Your Channel is your public page. It contains your most recent uploaded video, your favorites, a place for comments, subscribers, and friends. You can edit your Channel page, Favorites, and Playlists by clicking on Account in the drop down menu.

There is always more than one way to get around a social networking site. Across the top of the screen are links to many of the same pages, plus some new ones:

  • My Videos & Playlists - where you will find your own videos
  • Favorites - other people's videos you have marked as your favorites
  • My Channel - where all of your information is in one place, plus the ability to change layout
  • Video Editor - an opportunity to edit or change your personal videos
  • Subscriptions - new videos you may wish to subscribe to and recommended channels
  • Insight - total number of viewers who have seen your videos, as well as more detailed information
  • Messages - from people who have viewed your videos, plus a chance to reply
  • Account Settings - includes profile setup, playback setup, e-mail options, privacy settings, activity sharing, and mobile setup
It is no wonder YouTube is popular and growing fast. If you haven't explored the many avenues for interacting with viewers and friends, you should set aside some time to do so. Every link leads to a whole set of opportunities.