YouTube may be social networking's red-headed step-child especially concerning writers. Video requires a different approach to communicating than blogging, Twittering and communicating on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. Aside from YouTube, these sites rely on our words, our writing. The very things we do well.
Writerly Uses for YouTube
Every YouTube video comes with an information box on the right side containing information about the person who posted it, a summary (another opportunity to add a URL and contact information), category, and tags. Take care when adding tags. Some people view users adding too many tags as less credible than those who carefully select a handful of tags.
Promote your book: Cindy Ray, creator of The Stapler Caper, posted a video that explains how the children's book lets the child write the story and shows pictures of the scenes and characters. Her contact information appears at the end of the video, something all videos should have. While this video is more promotional than valuable to readers, it's a way for the author to present the book beyond a text-based summary. Think of it as a movie trailer for books like Argentum from Monica Valentinelli. "I've gotten more visibility out of my first trailer in one day than I had one week," she says.
Post presentations and classes: Do you hope to land more speaking and teaching opportunities? Record all of your presentations and you have an instant testimonial of your ability to present. Posting the video on YouTube rather than just your website allows others to discover you when searching YouTube. Poetics Arts Performance Project posts videos of featured poets from open mics. Mary McFarland teaches literature classes and posts videos to teach lessons such as iambic pentameter.
Reach a huge audience: According to Nielsen//Net Ratings in December 2008, YouTube is the #1 Internet entertainment site and #6 largest Internet destination. Furthermore, comScore Video Metrix reports that a third of people viewing online videos went to YouTube.
Promote expertise: Editor-in-Chief of K+BB Christina Trauthwein posts interviews and projects as a way to brand themselves, drive more traffic to the site, and position themselves as experts in the field.
Post client work: Sometimes people doubt the credibility of text-based testimonials on websites because it's easy to make them up. A video, on the other hand, is hard to fake. "I've used YouTube to post rough cuts of corporate videos for feedback from my clients and third party participants. It's an easy and quick way for everyone involved to review videos and move forward without the inconvenience of having teams spend time at a studio," says Carla Johnson.
See videos forwarded: YouTube makes it easy for people to add interesting YouTube videos to their websites with a simple copy and paste of code. Think about how you find out about good videos. E-mail? Twitter links? Facebook links? People help you by sharing their videos with their friends and colleagues.
A video doesn't have to include you saying something. It can be words, PowerPoint converted to video or a how-to based on your platform or expertise. If you want to convert a PowerPoint presentation that shares your expertise, convert to video AVI format using the free E.M. PowerPoint Video Converter. This is just one application, plenty others can do the same.
Meryl K. Evans is the author of Brilliant Outlook Pocketbook, co-author of Adapting to Web Standards: CSS and Ajax for Big Sites and contributor to many others. The long-time blogger and gamer has written and edited for a bunch of places online and off. A native Texan, she lives a heartbeat north of Dallas in Plano, Texas with her husband and three kiddos. Though born in silence, she tries to show that deaf people are just like everyone else. Follow Meryl on Twitter at @merylkevans.