Get answers out of your email and onto YouTube

In my role as business librarian, I often get email and Teams chat questions that are very challenging to address with a written answer. Rather than attempt to write out a lengthy answer, I will often record a quick demonstration of my computer screen with Screencast-o-matic and just send the student the link to the quick, raw, and unedited video. While this is a quick way to give someone an answer quickly. it’s not very scalable. Generally the video is not polished enough for me feel comfortable about posting on YouTube, so it’s not usually shared beyond the email back to the student.

I changed things up a bit last week, when I received the following from a student:

I would’ve scheduled a meeting, but my schedule is too complicated. The struggle I’m having is that I’m trying to do a deeper dive into the major companies we have in the amusement park industry……Disney, NBC Universal Media, Cedar Fair etc. I’m looking specifically for consumer demographics for their parks, and I need help.  Is there a specific one of the sites you’d recommend for the smaller parks like cedar fair and maybe a specific tab from there?

Given that I have 400+ students working on their analysis of the amusement park industry, I figured there would be more students who needed help with the same question. I had an open block on my calendar, so I recorded the video embedded below. I haven’t recorded a video in a while and I am a bit out of practice, so it took me about two hours to record, edit, caption, create a thumbnail and publish the video.

Was creating a video for one question worth the trouble?

While it took me longer than I would have liked, I am pleased with the return on my time. At the time of writing this post, the video received:

All told, that’s more than 60 people I’ve helped by getting the question out of my inbox and onto the web. While I’m not going to be a full-time YouTuber anytime soon, that’s not a bad return on two hours of effort.

My first best attempt at my YouTube channel trailer

YouTube had been nagging me forever to put a trailer on my channel so that unsubscribed viewers can get to know what my channel is about.  About 4 months ago I put together the clip below.  I recorded the opening of the trailer with my Logitech camera and Blue Yeti microphone. For the other video clips, I actually used Screencast-o-matic to record snips of my videos directly off of YouTube.  This was a bit easier than digging through old mp4 files on my local hard drive.  I then spliced it all together and did the voiceover in Windows Live Movie Maker.    The end result is not awesome, but it will suffice until I have the time to think of something more creative.

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