University Web Developers

University Web Developers

So, we started the university's central YouTube channel 8 months ago, and it has grown to some [not much!] prominence. Seems like folks around here are jumping on the video bandwagon, and gearing up to seriously produce & promote video content in 2009-2010.

However, now we are seeing individual schools/units create their own YouTube channels, not to intentionally snub the main university one, but without really thinking much about the pros/con of going it alone.

Pros for central channel:
- YouTube partner status, granting extended length, placement on YouTube.com/edu [individual schools/units can't get this, right?? Or can they??]
- Well branded & maintained, we have a full time people devoted to up keep
- Related content pulled from across main university channel, helps expose their material and introduce their viewers to items from across Emory
- Rising tide floats all boats, when one of our videos takes off, all videos get more views
- Updated with new content daily, so departments don't have to worry about getting new stuff up constantly

Pros for individual school/department channels:
- Direct control of uploading material
- Direct control of Insights/data on videos
- Do not have to include the University's 4sec intro and exits on video itself
- Don't think main University channel is interested in all of their material [generally not the case though!]
- Proclaims individual group's identity, so they don't have to be one in a rich sea of things going on at Emory

I definitely feel for the individual departments out there, but I think they are putting their needs ahead of the end users' overall experience. People in general don't think of Emory as a bunch of disparate groups, but rather a single entity [though someone like the Law School might prefer/see differently]

The point is to expose visitors to a vast array of Emory material, though I admit the lack of multiple logins to the University channel is a seriously limiting factor [and really annoying to manage].

How is YouTube structured at your university? Have we thought of all the factors here?

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Our school has one main YouTube Channel, this is mainly because we are a smaller private institution, and I am the main video producer, editor, and recorder. I could see how the multiple ones could be good, but in my experience there's always a group or section that gets updated less often, which leads to the possibility of a bad image for that department (we had that happen with blogs around here).

We also have an iTunes U presence and on there we have it split up into departments, but they are all under the blanket of the main school's image/page.
We are also a small university. However we have 2 channels. We have our main one, and then one of our Digital Video Professors runs a channel for our Digital Video Program.
Size matters. We are a large institution so a centralized channel (given the current limitations on accounts) is out of the question. Even within my college at the University we have multiple channels run by different units. The primary reason is that there are very different audiences being addressed with very different messages. The undergrad channel is primarily informational for incoming students & parents while the MBA channel is primarily marketing material for the program.

Aside from the points made above another concern for units in a large institution is that their content could get lost in the noise.

At a recent social media summit I attended we discussed that the age of centralized control of information (in a marketing perspective) is nearing its end and that coordination and guidance are the roles marketing should be stepping into.
Ahh, this is making sense! We can encourage the school/unit channels to adopt our recommendations on branding and linking to other university channels, and not have to be responsible for uploading tons of video content. Excellent points, thanks so much!
We have one, but we're a small college and new to YouTube. I can already see advantages to multiple channels to both spread out the maintenance and separate the audiences. For now we're trying to use playlists and tags to separate content, but that probably won't scale well.
My school has the same situation as Whitney's. We just don't have enough content to justify getting separate channels.
Here at Duke, we decided to allow each department/school/office to have its own channel as they wish. We also created a main Duke channel -- http://www.youtube.com/duke. We use the main channel to highlight the best of the videos from the other "sub" channels, using the Favorites and Playlist features. I think this works well because it is much simpler to manage given how decentralized Duke is, and a viewer of the Duke YouTube channel still gets to see our best videos.
James - Does Duke have any policies or guidelines for highlighting videos from the other "sub" channels? At Missouri S&T, we're talking about taking a similar approach but are interested in seeing what guidelines or best practices other universities incorporate to ensure only the best videos from sub channels are fed into the main channel. Any insight you have would be appreciated.

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