Saturday, September 23, 2006

YouTube Colleges, an Inside Look

YouTube has a new group for college videos called “YouTube Colleges“. This new YouTube feature has been covered widely in the media. I am not going to talk about the pros and cons of this move by YouTube which is also a direct challenge to FaceBook.

Before I signed up at YouTube Colleges with my college email (you need it to signup, like facebook), I tried looking online for some kind of inside look into YouTube Colleges. Couldn’t find any so I thought why not talk about it, it’s worth it to take a look at a feature which might become the next popular feature of YouTube.

YouTube Colleges

I didn’t know if San Francisco State University was in the list of their colleges’ database, I said to myself that it should be there, they (YouTube) started out from right here in the Bay Area, Menlo Park. But currently they are located in San Mateo, California. I was right, I signed up, it asked me for my SFSU email and I was in the group.

To my surprise, only 39 members were in the group, only 7 videos had been uploaded by 3 members, as of 9/22/06. Looks like its not that popular yet at SFSU or maybe no one knows about it. Nothing exciting or fun, I was looking for some party videos, didn’t find any! YouTube blog doesn’t mention anything about this college feature, I wonder why?!?!

Here is the shocker, you can only view videos that have been added to your college group, so I can’t view any video added to UCLA college group. I don’t know why they would have such a restriction because it doesn’t really make any sense to me, is this something related to privacy? It’s okay to shoot videos of SFSU students and allow other SFSU students to view it, comment it, and rate it but not right for other college students to look at what’s really going on at SFSU?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting SFSU students don’t have right to privacy but what if there is this awesome band, someone has a video of the band playing on campus, wants to post it, I being SFSU students can see it but no one else can, what’s the point…. we already see them play on campus!

I decided to contact them, using their contact us page, I even selected Subject as “Media Inquiry” (was that too much?) and wrote a nice and simple message, no response yet, been two days. I didn’t know how long to wait so incase I do get a reply, I will post it!

Overall I like the way it works, if you have already uploaded videos of your college, you can just add them to the group, no need to upload it again. So in a way, there is not a different upload method for publishing your college videos. The other good thing is that they are adding new colleges everyday, soon they will have your college even if it had an enrollment of 1000 students (lets hope). Save your college email IDs, it will prove useful, SFSU allows me to have it for life as they are soon going to start a MySpace like social networking platform for SFSU alumni (I am excited about that).

I don’t know how many of you reading this post will be able to take a peek inside YouTube colleges but incase you didn’t know about it and you do take a peek, I would love to hear what you feel about it.