how to:How to add context to your YouTube videos for maximum impact
Many people argue that for activists YouTube is actually the most powerful social network. YouTube allows activists and citizen journalists in countries without free media to capture events happening on the ground and share them with the rest of the world. By recording (or streaming) human rights abuses, violence against peacful protestors, or even non violent demonstrations activists can harness the power of video to gain support for their causes and movements.
While much of the actual video that is streamed and captured is powerful- what happens after its uploaded often impedes this content from reaching its full potential. If titles aren't clear, location/time/date are missing or there is no description the viewer is more likely to doubt the authenticity of the video and/or not know what to make of it.
This guide will show you how to title, tag, and write a description for your video so that you can use it to further your cause.
Record or livestream the event that you want to share. Here are some helpful resources:
Remember if you are a witness to a human rights abuse, and you are caught recording it, you could be in danger. Be sure to be aware of your surroundings and only record video if it is safe for you to do so. Also remember if you are recording a demonstration that is declared illegal by the government in the state where you are filming, uploading that video could be dangerous to anyone whose face is recorded. Be sure to educate yourself about the potential dangers of recording and uploading what you see depending on the situation in that country. If you think you might have recorded someone's face, and that could be dangerous, wait to upload the video untill you get to a computer where you can edit out there faces.
Next you'll want to upload your video to YouTube so you can share it widely. You can either do it immediately from your mobile phone on which you've recorded the video or save it and uplaod it later from your computer.
Once you've uploaded your video, but before you begin to share it, you'll want to make sure the title, details, time, and location are all detailed and accurate so viewers of the video will understand what they are watching and be more inclined to share it.
When you've selected your video to upload from your phone, the first thing YouTube will ask you is for the title. Choose a title that describes what the video is about and where it was taken. Examples:
- Demonstration against al Assad in Homes, Syria (10/29/11)
- Soldier beating a non violent protestor in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt (1/25/2011)
- Women driving a car in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (10/15/2011)
A good title should include: What the video is about, where it took place, and the date.
If putting the location or exact date could be dangerous for something in the video, be sure to leave the exact details out. For example:
- Women driving in Saudi Arabia, Fall 2011
Next YouTube will ask you for "More Details". It will pre-populate your email address/YouTube account. The next field is "Description". Here is where you can add more detail about what your video is of. Example:
- This video was taken in Tahrir Square on the evening of January 25. In this video you will see thousands of people non violently protesting the regime of Hosni Mubaraek. You can hear them chanting, "Down with Mubarak, up with freedom!"
If you are trying to attract an international audience, think about putting the title and description in English. If you do this and there are signs with slogans in the video or protest chants, be sure to translate them in the description OR add anotations later on your computer.
Next YouTube will ask you if you want the video to be public or private. If your goal is for as many people as possible to see the video right away, select public. If you want to go home and do more editing and anotations, or if you are fearful of your security and want to share the video only with a trusted source, select private and you can share it only with the safe person.
If you are making your video public, add Tags. Tags allow your video to come up in search. For example if your video is of a protest in Homs, Syria you would select tags like:
- al Assad
- Human Rights
- Arab Spring
- Middle East
and anything else that may apply to your particular video.
Last, you can check a box (if you are uploading directly from your phone) to "Send Location". This means the location of you and your phone will be visible on the video page. If you feel safe about sharing the video and the potential for people to know where and by whom it was shot, they you can select this. If you have any reservations at all, don't check the box. You can still tag the location of the video in the title without your geo location information be attached to the video.
Now your video upload is complete! Remember you can always go back to the video on your computer and do more editiong or add anotations: