Way back in 2005, I was in my third year at university in the Philippines. That was also the year that Brooke Allison Brodack didn’t know where to host her home-made videos online. After scouring the internet for a suitable platform, she settled on YouTube. Brodack, better known as Brookers, became famous for her short videos posted during YouTube’s early years.
Right now, Brodack and I are just two of more than 122 million active users consuming about 1 billion hours of a smorgasbord of videos daily – a few of which are also educational.
In the 17 years since its launch, YouTube has developed a culture of its own, one that also touches on academia. And a cohort of self-motivated, independent learners has taken advantage of the ease of accessibility that YouTube provides to learn about topics from all sorts of creators – ranging from Julia Ravey, who gives tips on how to prepare for your PhD viva, to Benjamin Bennett, who has been livestreaming himself sitting and smiling at the camera for roughly four hours at a time! (Why I watched that myself, I haven’t got a clue.)
Lack of academics on YouTube
Yet despite the impressive reach of YouTube, very few creators on the platform are academics.
For academics looking to expand their reach and grow an audience by providing valuable educational content, YouTube is an untapped opportunity: anyone, anywhere and at any time can access informative videos and tutorials that can come in handy for those tricky topics at university. In 2013, while I was doing my MSc at the University of Hertfordshire, I learned how to use the statistical software SPSS from watching videos of Professor Andy Field.
Being that there’s such a large audience on YouTube, and that academics, by and large, have a strong desire to pass on their knowledge, more academics must become involved with the platform as content creators.
Launching your own channel as an academic
While anyone can launch a YouTube channel, there are a few additional considerations for those looking to build success with their own channel – as an academic or otherwise.
Creating a YouTube channel is hard work, and it takes time to see results. But if you’re dedicated to creating quality content in your area of academic expertise, and if …….