So, iDiversity is all about learning about diversity in the LIS professional. We’re also all about creating a space for discussion about diversity issues. It’s pretty great! Except when iDiversity members and everyone else who is interested isn’t able to attend our events. You might not have checked out our calendar of events, but it is chock full of great programming from great presenters, speakers, and panelists. Unfortunately, many of our events take place around 4:30, between afternoon and night classes.
This is really convenient for people who are just getting out of class or have an hour to kill before their next class starts, but for people with a full time job or who aren’t close to campus, this is the most inconvenient time. Goodness, getting onto campus can be a pain in the neck in general, too! So we were looking for a way to share our events with more people, especially people who couldn’t make it to the events due to time or location limitations.
Our first solution was to start recording the events. Recording events is great–but if you can’t get the videos out to the public, they just sit on someone’s computer with no where to go (just like that Meatloaf song). The next step was to figure out where to actually put the videos so we could share them with our members.
There are several great online services that let you share videos. The most obvious is YouTube, which is what we ultimately ended up using. There’s also UStream and Vimeo. One of our goals was to livestream events so people could participate even from a distance. So, we started with UStream. Unfortunately, Ustream doesn’t allow you to upload videos, only record live. We then moved to Vimeo, but it didn’t even have the possibility of livestreaming videos, so it was also not seriously considered.
YouTube had the benefit of allowing us to upload videos and also livestreaming videos using Google Hangouts, a Google+ product. But, as many people know, YouTube only allows users to upload short videos, not over 15 minutes long.
Fortunately, this assumption is not true! There are several ways to upload longer videos to YouTube.
- You can have a non-profit account. As iDiversity does not have 501(c)(3) status, this was a no-go option.
- You can become a YouTube partner. Basically, this comes down to letting YouTube add ads to your channel. As a student organization, I did not think that adding ads to our videos was a viable solution.
- You can verify your account with a cell phone number. YouTube will allow members in good standing (aka users who have not uploaded copywrited material) who also verify their account with a cell phone to upload longer videos. Since iDiversity does not have a cell phone number, I created a Google Voice number and was able to verify the account using that number. This allowed me to not associate iDiversity’s YouTube account with my personal number, but also allowed me to verify the account. Finally, a solution that works!
Now everyone can check out iDiversity’s video archive and catch up on events that they may have missed, for whatever reason.