YouTube Stories

Tell Us Something has a YouTube channel. Now what?

Since the beginning, I have intended to share people’s stories on YouTube. I have overcome one roadblock after another in this endeavor. 

Initially, the issue in creating the YouTube channel was obtaining a custom URL. In order to obtain a custom URL, at the time, there were two options. Either the channel had to have 100+ subscribers (which Tell Us Something did not) or a user had to add a CNAME record to their domain's DNS records. I know how to do that, so I did. For some reason, YouTube was not recognizing the record.

After years of trying, we finally cracked the 100 subscribers mark and I was able to get the URL youtube.com/tellussomething.

The next roadblock was learning how to edit video. The intention is to upload each individual storyteller’s story, much like the podcast. I use Adobe Premiere and I used YouTube itself to watch video tutorials, as well as Lynda.com, in order to learn. The video quality will increase over time as I learn. Like any software release, there are bugs that will be identified and fixed in future releases.

I spoke to a Tell Us Something storyteller and YouTuber Nicole Sweeny, who is host and associate producer/editor over at Crash Course Sociology, about the Tell Us Something channel. I asked her if she had any advice. The one piece of advice she offered was: “Determine a production schedule you can stick to, commit to it and be consistent.”

There is a *LOT* of video that needs to be edited and uploaded. I’d eventually like to be at a point where the video from the most recent live event is being uploaded around about the time the podcast from that event is being published.

In order to get there, I am uploading videos on Mondays and Wednesdays. With around 216 stories over the course of the past 6 years, and 24 stories already uploaded, I estimate all of the stories will be uploaded and current within one year.

With such a backlog, I must make some decisions about what to upload first. Should I begin at the beginning and upload stories chronologically? Should I work backward from the most recent stories? 

I decided to meld these two options. I’ll go back and forth between recent stories and stories from the archives. 

The most recent batch of uploads came from 2015 and was recorded live at the Top Hat Lounge in Missoula, MT. The next batch will be from the December 2016 show themed “Illumination/Revelation”.

One caveat about the number of stories, as I am going through the archives. Yes, around 216 stories exist on the podcast at least. I have discovered that of the 26 events Tell Us Something has produced, 10 of those events do not have video. This can be attributed to a variety of things: equipment failure, corrupt data or just poor record keeping. At one point I had 7 external hard drives with video on them PLUS I had my main hard drive fail last year.

Once I have a clear grasp of how many videos I actually have, I'll check in again.

Editing each video takes me about 30 minutes, and then another 30 minutes for it to render. The uploading process itself takes about 10 minutes. 

The entire process is, as you can see, very time-consuming. Expanding Tell Us Something’s services in this way helps to continue fulfilling the mission of helping people tell their stories, and helping them get those stories heard by as many people as possible.

Please support the project by subscribing to the YouTube channel and share the videos you enjoy on social media.

Your community. Your stories.

Thanks.

--Marc