This is Aaron Rester's blog:

Field Notes from the Digital Prairie

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Law School's YouTube Channel

Cross-posted at the University of Chicago Law School Electronic Projects Blog.

Sometimes, when choosing social and software platforms, one chooses... poorly. That would seem to have been the case with the Law School's choice of video distribution, a choice that we are happy to rectify today with the official launch of our YouTube Channel.

While it might seem we're a bit late to the YouTube party, the problem is that we were actually a bit too early. When the Law School began regularly recording video of events like our Chicago's Best Ideas lecture series back in 2008, YouTube had a 10-minute limit to videos that users could upload. Since most of our videos are of hour-long lectures, we had to find a new solution. We tried Google Video (this was before Google bought YouTube) but it didn't work terribly well. Eventually we found Blip.tv, which did pretty much everything we wanted it to: allowed for long-duration uploads, integrated with our Drupal site, allowed for ad-free display, and so on.

While we did claim a YouTube channel and used it for various projects here and there, we stuck with Blip as our main video platform through the years, even after YouTube dropped their 10-minute limit and universities (including our own) began flocking to the service in droves, since we had already sunk so much time and effort into establishing our Blip presence. But a couple of months ago, Blip began mandating pre-roll ads before every video, a practice we found unacceptable for our non-profit institution. So, after five years and just under 60,000 views on their platform, we've decided to pull the plug on our Blip channel. I've spent the last few weeks porting our hundred and forty-odd videos over to YouTube, and look forward to all of the opportunities that the new (to us) platform provides: easier sharing, more opportunities for conversation, and so on.