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How to get yourself on YouTube, for business or pleasure

By David Ramel
June 20, 2007 12:00 PM ET

Using appropriate music for the footage also enhances the experience for home movies. For a baby's "first bath" scene, for example, you could play Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash," or for a skiing scene, you could play Rancid's "Fall Back Down" over a montage of multiple wipeouts -- as long as you complied with copyright restrictions and paid the appropriate fees, of course.

For business videos, though, you'll want to keep it simple and straightforward, and get it done quickly.

So after editing, the next step is to save your video in the appropriate format for YouTube, which recommends the following settings for the best presentation:

  • MPEG4 (Divx, Xvid) format   
  • 320x240 resolution   
  • MP3 audio   
  • 30 frames per second (technically 29.97)

You can find these settings in your editing software's "save as," "render as" or "export" options.

YouTube usually does a good job of converting video of different specs into its final form, though. It handily converted my .AVI files into its standard .FLV (Flash) format, for example. Its help section says: "YouTube accepts video files from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones in the .WMV, .AVI, .MOV and .MPG file formats."

Some restrictions

It does impose some restrictions. For regular accounts, videos must be less than 100MB in size and 10 minutes in length, so for longer corporate presentations and events, you must include only the highlights or break them into separate videos. Or you can apply for a "Director" account that allows you to post videos longer than 10 minutes with an accompanying logo and Web site URL.

Once your file is in the right format, you must create a YouTube account, if you don't already have one, in order to upload videos. After you have an account, you simply click on the "Upload Videos" link on the top right of any YouTube page and follow the instructions. You supply descriptive information about the video, choose who can see it, and then use the upload tool to find the video on your local machine and send it to YouTube.

For corporate projects, you will probably want to mark the video as "Private." That way, only the people you specify in a contact list can see it. YouTube accounts automatically provide "Friends" and "Family" contact lists, but you can also make your own.

It's a bit clunky to make the lists, though. If the person you want to see your videos is a YouTube member, you can to go to his page and invite him to be a "Friend," after which you can add him to a list. You can also invite people to join your contact list with a broadcast e-mail. Right after the broadcast, you can add them to your list as pending members, and from your video's page, you can send them an e-mail invitation to watch the video. But they have to accept your invitation to officially join your list and have access to the video.

After your video is marked as "Private" and uploaded, you can watch it in the YouTube player and simply click on the "Share Video" link, choose the list you want to share it with and click the "Send" button.

YouTube also lets you categorize multiple videos into "playlists" that can be shared with your lists or embedded into your Web site or blog. Embedding is simple: You bring up the video on YouTube and grab the HTML code from the text field titled "Embed" to the right of the video. Paste that code into your Web page's source code, and you're done.

I have done exactly that with the video below, which is a simple tutorial that shows just how quickly you can assemble a video and upload it onto YouTube.

How to get yourself on YouTube

Remember, please share your ideas or examples of corporate videos on YouTube in the Comments section below.

Ramel is editor of Computerworld.com's Networking & Internet channel.

Read more about Networking in Computerworld's Networking Topic Center.



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