Given the success of other “Web 2.0″ applications in the college market, YouTube decided to take a piece of the pie for itself. But how does its college section stack up and what makes it different from the rest of the site?
The first thing we have to do is sign up by entering a .edu email address. I swear if someone ever figures out a way to fake a .edu address it will send Facebook and other college services tumbling down.
After we confirm our e-mail address we are taken to this screen:
And… that’s about it. The only thing YouTube’s college sections seems to do is separate videos by the user’s college. Now Temple is a school of nearly 30,000 students. Do you know how many registered users there are?
Is case you’re counting, that’s .00123%. But YouTube doesn’t seem to give students any reason to join the college group and upload videos. The features it offers are a mirror of the site itself. Why be separated into this small niche when you can be part of the vast YouTube community?
In YouTube’s defense, the section seems to give its users is the ability to cut through the rest of the YouTube videos out there and find those that take place only at your college. However this function could have been served by simply adding a “search within your zip code” feature to YouTube search.
Maybe it’s because my school is one of the “Recently added” but the YouTube college section seems like a lame grab at the college market. Why not offer incentives for film students to have their films viewed by directors and casting agents? Why not have collegiate competitions such as what school can make the best video about ____ ?
I think the Holy Grail for a site like YouTube would be to allow professors to place their lectures online. Similar to what many schools have done with podcasting, this would help students grasp their subject matter. Imagine if your Chem teacher confused the heck out of you, you could simply do a search on YouTube and find how other schools are teaching the subject. It would also help break down the barriers put up by so called “elite” schools.
For example say you were applying to college to be a Bio major. You could take some bio lectures from different schools and compare their curriculum and teaching styles allowing you to make a more educated choice.
YouTube, I love you, but please if you are going to roll out a college specific section, don’t half-ass it, and give users a reason to care.
[tags]YouTube, college, Web 2.0[/tags]