Tech Review 9 – Video creation and sharing: YouTube (Guest Blog)

This week’s review is guest written by David Mansell, Digital Learning Coordinator at the National Football Museum, Manchester (@footballmuseum; @NFM_Learn; @sivisscientiam)

Overview:

This week, we will be looking at sharing video content through YouTube. This platform is a versatile tool to share internally or externally produced videos. Online video is hugely popular with today’s internet users. Cultural organisations are increasingly looking to video to educate, inspire, and document their activities. This capacity can range from ad-hoc commissions of videographers as part of funded projects, all the way to staff and volunteers producing videos in-house with dedicated equipment. Whatever your means of production, YouTube is a good home for content, especially content that needs to be distributed multiple times across a variety of channels.

What you need:

  • An internet connection.
  • Depending on where your content is stored, either a mobile device or laptop.
  • A Google account for your organisation.
  • Any relevant branding: logos, copy etc.

Instructions:

Posting content on YouTube is an easy (and fun) process. After navigating to the website, you can sign in on the top right using your Google account. If this is your organisation’s first time using the site, you’ll be prompted to start setting up your channel. Your channel is your hub from which you can post your content, and engage with your audience on the site. The layout is simple and is typical of Google’s user-friendly approach.

If YouTube becomes a part of your communications strategy, then this is worth doing with your relevant colleagues who have oversight on such things. Otherwise, feel free to add as much branding and information as you feel is appropriate. Other organisations tend to treat the site as any other digital asset, and so it is common to see their channels branded like their other platforms.

There’s a button next to the search bar for uploading content. Clicking it will allow you to select the file you want from your computer. During this process, you’ll be given the chance to give your video an appropriate title and description, as well as tagging it with relevant search terms. It’s worth spending a little bit of time crafting this to ensure that your content is accessible via the search bar.

You can also make use of some limited editing tools for making minor alterations to lighting and annotations. For those without dedicated editing software, this is a useful tool to improve the quality of your videos. For accessibility purposes, there’s also the option to add subtitles and translations, which the user can enable and disable as required.

Once you are set up, you can access some useful features:

Analytics:

Each individual video you upload allows you to view detailed audience data. Like Twitter and Facebook, YouTube provides real-time info on audience demographics, traffic sources, and playback devices. Additionally, YouTube also provides data on audience retention on each individual piece of content; so you can get insight into when you lost your audience’s attention. This is a huge bonus for creators who are looking to optimise their content for their audience or experiment with new audiences.

Sharing:

Sharing your YouTube content is as easy as clicking the share button on the video player. From there, you can access your other social media, emails, and even an embed links into your website. Sites like Twitter and Facebook allow the user to access the video on their website when viewed on a computer- the analytics are still available on the main YouTube site. You could even create a QR code using the link and put it somewhere in your venue for visitors to access more information on stories and objects.

Technology:

YouTube is at the cutting edge of online video technology. At the upper limit, users can upload videos up to 12 hours long, or 128GB in size! The site also supports resolutions up to 4K. This puts YouTube firmly ahead of other leading social networks in terms of flexibility with videos. For organisations conscious of the long-term viability of the platform, they can be confident that it has so far been ahead of the curve for technological advancements.

Community:

As well as being a home for videos in all shapes and sizes, YouTube has a thriving community who consume billions of hours of content a year. Like other social media channels, YouTube users can like, dislike, and comment on posts, as well as subscribe to channels they watch regularly. Educational content can be a great place to foster debate and engagement. For organisations looking to branch out online, YouTube is a great place to be.

Pros

  • It’s completely free to sign up and post as much or as little content as you like.
  • YouTube is an easy way to access all your video content online and sharing features make distribution easy.
  • Useful analytics reports- great for strategy writing, assessing impact, and KPI monitoring.
  • Powerful technology- whether it’s video uploaded from a mobile device or a crafted feature, YouTube has you covered on compatibility.

 

Cons

  • Setting up a channel can be a lengthy process. The involvement of other staff may be required, to be to ensure that branding guidelines are followed.
  • Content uploading can take a while depending on your internet speed.

 

Who should use this within a museum?

The platform is great for anyone looking to get their video content out there, be they museum educators, digital specialists, content marketers or anybody else with a special interest in video.

General feedback

Online video continues to grow and is a great way to get people excited about heritage. With modern mobile devices putting the power of video at many people’s fingertips, having the right tools to share and grow online is a top priority for heritage staff managing digital development. For those looking to put their video content out there, YouTube is highly recommended.

Score:

Price: 5/5

Ease of use: 4/5

Efficiency: 5/5

Effectiveness: 5/5

Total 19/20

 

David Mansell

Weekly Tech Review – Week 8 Productivity – Canva (design tool)

Overview:

This week we are going to try something different, which can help us create amazing graphic designs without having to be a professional graphic designer. Canva is a free graphic design tool used by professionals, as well as by people who have absolutely no prior design skills. It is a tool which allows users to create custom visual content for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram posts.

What you need:

  • An internet connection
  • A computer/laptop
  • The Canva website

Instructions:

Let’s start with a hypothetical scenario: you are hosting a museum late celebrating the X museum’s birthday and you want to create a promotional poster to be published on social media for your followers.

  • Open Canva and click on Create a design on the top left. For the purposes of our scenario, we chose the Poster template.
  • First, we’ll pick either a layout or a background photo. Click on LAYOUTS from the list on the left and scroll down to look for one that is suitable for your poster’s purposes. Don’t worry about the text, as it can be altered later on! Alternatively, you can click on the white search box and enter keywords to find a relevant photo to use, but choosing a layout will save you much more time. For our hypothetical scenario’s purposes, we chose a layout that alludes to a celebration of some sort.
  • Now that we’ve got a striking image to draw attention, we need to give our audience some details about the event. Since we’re already working with a template, we can just edit the placeholder text and add in the right details.
  • With Canva you can also upload and add your own images which you can, then, edit, crop, and filter. Simply click on UPLOADS on the left, and then on Upload your own images. After you’ve uploaded an image from your own server, you can drag it from the left-hand side of the page straight to your poster. The editing options are directly above your design.
  • On the left-hand side, you can also see the options ELEMENTS, TEXT and BACKGROUND. You may use these if you’re creating your own design by scratch, but it is an option which is significantly more time-consuming than going for a layout which you can then edit and adjust to your own needs.
  • Voila – our poster is ready! All we have to do now is click Download on the top right corner. Users can choose the format in which they want to download their design. Canva will give you the option to download a watermark-free version of the design, but it will cost you, so we’ll just download the watermark version.

Pros:

  • It’s free!
  • Time-efficiency! It literally took us 5 minutes to do the whole process.
  • It’s extremely simple to use – the website design of this design tool (inception) is so good that everything is straightforward.
  • It offers a comprehensive image library and a collection of templates suitable for different industries.
  • Designs (posters) are printable.
  • You can directly share your design on social media (top right), further cutting down the time needed to create + actually share your design.

Cons:

  • There are additional tools that Canva can offer, but users have to pay to access them.
  • A number of images are not free.

Who should use this within a museum?

Anyone who works with marketing and social media, and event organisers who want to promote events and happenings.

General feedback:

We simply love Canva! It is a rare example of how a single platform can provide users of any level of graphic design with so many awesome possibilities. What is more, we love the fact that it’s free! Remember: presentation is everything. Visual content is 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content! Canva is the best free tool on the market to help you easily create visual content for your museum/charity. If you need any further assistance with how to use Canva, please email me on yiota@cornwallmuseumspartnership.org.uk.

Score:

  • Price – 5/5 
  • Ease of use – 5/5
  • Efficiency – 5/5
  • Effectiveness – 5/5

Overall score: 20/20

Jenny Lee and Yiota Liopetriti