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You(r)Tube: Now You Too Can Collaborate, Curate

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, November 17 2009

Say you have in interest in having regular folks whip out their video cameras or cell phones and create wonderful video content for your organization, advocacy group, or news enterprise. There's a great deal of appeal (especially given news and non-profit budgets these days). Your most passionate supporters have a way of channeling their energy and creativity towards advancing your work, and you get free material to work with. Win-win! Alas, there are downsides. Lots of people, frankly, create a lot of junk. And when your fans upload their stuff to YouTube, it gets lost in a sea of tangential response videos and clips of cats doing admittedly hilarious, but off-topic, tricks and stunts.

Finally, a solution. YouTube is offering up a new service called YouTube Direct:

Built from our APIs, this open source application lets media organizations enable customized versions of YouTube's upload platform on their own websites. Users can upload videos directly into this application, which also enables the hosting organization to easily review video submissions and select the best ones to broadcast on-air and on their websites. As always, these videos also live on YouTube, so users can reach their own audience while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create.

With YouTube Direct, you can plug right into your site a video upload tool as well as content moderation features, creating your own little personal YouTube hub targeted to your particular mission but benefiting from the network and tools that YouTube has built. So far, most applications of YouTube Direct have been by news organizations, but there seems to be a great deal of potential for even small political groups to use it to turn into tiny Rupert Murdochs.

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