Tag Archives: youtube

becoming a youtube partner

Advice on Multi Channel Networks and becoming a YouTube Partner

A fellow edupreneur wanted to know what the pros and cons of joining a MCN (multi channel network) on YouTube would be. Though you might have never heard of MCNs, you have probably watched content from one of the big ones, nevertheless. There is Revision3, Machinima, TasteMade and a handful of others that usually specialize in one or two particular verticals like gaming, food or comedy.

The premise of the big MCNs is to support creators in the creation of video content on the one hand and get better advertising deals and show sponsors on the other. Sounds good, but won’t work in education.

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Jason Calacanis New YouTube Deal

Jason Calacanis: How to make YouTube sustainable for Content Creators

Today something for the entrepreneurial educator to think about.

As regular readers of this blog probably know, I started my first educational YouTube channel in 2008. It was around the same time Salman Khan of Khan Academy started his which we all know would become such a success a few years later.

There were a few others, but the online education community was far less interconnected and educators with YouTube channels were in many aspects aliens in the system. On the one hand, I think it a good thing that I eventually hear more about the creation of video and its implementation in lessons in the education space. On the other hand, things have fundamentally changed since then, and the YouTube landscape is so much more competitive today.

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Revision3 Jim Louderback

The Future of Original Web Video Content

This is a great interview for everyone to watch who is (or want to get) involved in creating original web video content which can be anything from interviews to lessons.

The talk is especially valuable because both, the interviewee and the interviewer are involved in the space and have a ton of experience in the market. Jason Calacanis, the host of the show, has worked in the media space for decade, founding a magazine about technology, a blog network that got acquired by AOL, a human powered search engine that aimed to compete with Google etc.

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youtube paid channel subscriptions

More Signs for Paid YouTube Channel Subscriptions Appear

There have been rumors about paid channel subscriptions on YouTube for a couple of months, but now there is evidence for that in the code of the YouTube Android app. Which is by the way a good example of why it could be interesting to learn how to code. The journalism of the future might very well be about finding evidence hidden in code.

YouTube also confirmed to CNet that they were looking into new ways for content creators to monetize on their videos besides ad revenue and rentals and that paid subscriptions would be probably part of this strategy.

Of course, YouTube says that they are not prepared to announce anything in the near future but that should not hold you back to come up with a YouTube strategy if you haven’t one, already.
So let me sum this up again: why do I think that YouTube is one of the must be places for edupreneurs?

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Playing in Someone Else’s Sandbox Rules May Change

SandboxOne of the major topics among edupreneurs, online marketers, blogger and others relying on Facebook traffic is the recent change in what fans actually see popping up in their news stream. I wanted to title this post “Waahaa – Cry Babies want their Facebook traffic back!” but that would have been a bit unfair ;). Nevertheless, I think the issue has been blown way out of proportion.

Let’s start with the basics. When a platform is new the first priority is to get as many users as possible. Therefore the rules are pretty much beneficial for the users. It makes you use the product and hopefully get you to the point where you can’t live without it. A bit like selling crack-cocaine.

Facebook has given page owners a free ride for many years, driving the traffic away from Facebook to their own sites. Now ask yourself, is that something you would do with your blog or platform? Your goal is to keep your users on your site, not leading them away from it to other sites, right? So why on earth should Facebook do it without any benefit?

On top of that Facebook is now a publicly traded company, e.g. they have an earnings call with Wall Street analysts every couple of months. People invest in Facebook on the terms that the social network grows its revenue. Hence, it makes even less sense for them to give you free traffic.

Let’s say you are one of the people who have spent time and effort on building your brand outside of Facebook over the years you were most likely not shocked at all or even surprised as it (or something similar) happened before and will happen again. The thing is, you are constantly playing in someone else’s sandbox and surprise: it’s not you who makes the rules. Here are two examples.


If you spent time on trying to get your page ranking on Google for related search terms you might have been hit by the infamous Panda update back in early 2011. It was so bad that it took out two big players in the education space, my favorite platform TeachStreet and the just newly refocused Mahalo. And even today algorithm changes affect startups. Just read the latest New York Times article on the matter.


Like Google, YouTube is experimenting a lot with new ways to display and surface “relevant” content on the platform. I have been hit by the changes at least three times with my Deutsch Happen channel over the past years and even big YouTube stars like Mystery Guitar Man saw huge drops in audience and hence revenue.

But you know that all of the platforms offer you to get traffic in return. Google has Adwords, YouTube lets you promote videos and Facebook now lets you promote posts. Hence, if you really, really want (need) the traffic, there is an option for you.

As a long time reader of this blog you will know that I have always advocated that edupreneurs need to learn about the processes behind the scenes of technology they use. If you have at least a bit of an idea on how funding or even an IPO affects the destiny of a startup you cannot be surprised by such changes.

In August 2010 Andrew Lewis coined a phrase that is still true today:

If you are not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.

Have you ever sat down and truly asked yourself if you were willing to pay for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other free service you are using on a regular basis? If the answer is “No, I won’t pay” then you have to ask yourself whether the startup actually built something meaningful at all. Which leads to the next question that when you don’t see any real value in the service, why should others?

A handful of edupreneurs like André Klein, Koichi and myself have always preached that you need to invest into your own website (sandbox) as it is the only place you are truly in charge of. All the rest is nice as long as it works and if it stops working you simply move on. The goal is that you need to get your audience to come to your site on their own because they want to, not because they might see a Twitter, YouTube or Facebook update pop up in their cluttered stream.

If you want to have something that catches their attention, get them to sign up for a newsletter. This way you are directly in their inbox as long as they choose to be on the list. You want direct contact, not filtered through a middleman.

Facing the Realities

On the other hand, the new Facebook algorithm might also have some positive side effects as it clears up the news stream from all the noise.

As a side note, when I take a look at both the reach and engagement graphs of my established pages Kirsten Winkler, EDUKWEST, Deutsch Happen and Deutsch Sprechen I have not noticed any significant drop in either graph on any of the four pages mentioned. The only drops I see are the ones I am familiar with, e.g. not updating the page or usually on weak days like Saturday.

All in all the number of likes your page got never reflected the actual number of engaged fans, anyway. The same is true for Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers. It’s a vanity number, nothing more. The new actual number of people “seeing” your Facebook page update also reflects how many people really visit your page or group in the first place. Taking the Edupreneurs Club as an example we have 200+ members but each posts gets seen by 7 to a maximum of 35 members. And that’s about the engagement I noticed over the months. There are about 10 active members and some lurkers. The rest joined but never came back.

This means, if people choose to visit your page anyway on a daily or weekly basis by clicking on the link on the left side, then all is well. If they just liked your page and never returned, anyway then you didn’t lose anything at all. You just get a realistic number of how many people actually care about your stuff. And yes, sometimes reality hits you hard, bro.

Picture by waterbridge via Morguefile


New YouTube Algorithm may help Educational Content

searchYouTube played around with its algorithm, again. Being an educational YouTuber myself since May 2008 I have seen a lot (of changes) over the years. Some were good and helped me to get more exposure and subscribers, others were bad for my channel especially the last change that affected content discovery.

Whereas a video I uploaded a year ago easily surpassed 1000 views in the first two weeks I now get around 500 which is kind of weird as my subscriber base has constantly grown in the meanwhile. Hence something is seriously broken in terms how people find the videos even when they are subscribed to my channel. It feels a bit like Twitter or Facebook where only a fraction of the followers or fans see your content as it will simply drown in the stream of updates (and supposedly, this won’t change as long as I don’t pay to promote my updates or tweets).

But on the upside, I still have good engagement and views on the video lessons which could help them to rise in the search results according to the announcement of the latest changes in the algorithm.

YouTube wants to focus on viewing time instead of clicks which is especially interesting for video lessons. When they are good or cover a topic people are interested in, they will of course watch the entire video and not click away to the next one.

Another part of this algorithm change is that YouTube will also take into consideration how much viewing time your videos drive across the platform. Hence, if you interlink your video lessons and people consume more of your videos it will help your lessons to come out on top.

In order to help you keep track of how your videos are performing, YouTube added a new tab to the analytics desk that shows you how long your viewers spent watching your lessons.

Picture by mconnors via Morguefile

becoming a YouTube Partner

Is a YouTube Channel a Key Success Factor for Edupreneurs?

YouTube PartnerMy old friend George has just rebooted his Edupunk / My ESL Friends venture with the premise to finally earn a living from teaching English on the Internet. Hurray to that!

Of course, offering live classes on the web that have a price tag attached to them is a magnitude more difficult than offering them for free and even free classes are often not overbooked if we take a look around the various platforms that still exist.

So he asked for some ideas to market the classes in our Edupreneurs Club on Facebook (if you are interested to talk about making money teaching online and professional exchange in general, that’s the place to go and we are always happy about new members and their input).

My advice was to use YouTube as a marketing funnel, and as I think the reasoning behind might be of interest to the readers of my blog as well, here is a slightly extended version of my answer.

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TED-Ed turns Education into Hollywood

HollywoodIt’s up to you to decide if this is a good or bad thing, I for once say it is better than most stuff we have at the moment. I have always been a fan of production quality and thought that education needs to get out of the nineties and get more “sexy”. I wrote about that in my post about the new and innovative YouTube channels last week.

Today, TED announced the launch of their own YouTube channel in the education vertical and I think the most interesting part about it is the way they come up with their videos as it reminds me of the way Hollywood is doing its movies.

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Lots of new Edu Channels on YouTube – A new Discovery Channel?

YouTubeThere is a lot going on in terms of educational content on YouTube lately, and I am not talking about classic education providers like universities and colleges. There is a whole new breed of young creators, some of them already well-known from non-education related channels.

The interesting part is that those guys and gals already had a very strong educational message underlying in their more geeky videos. The new education focused channels are “just” that – more focused on explaining complicated things.

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Muhammad Ali taunting  Sonny Liston 1965

It’s on! How I am going to compete with Livemocha, busuu and Babbel

No, I haven’t lost my marbles! But at least now I got your attention, I think.

As you know, I have pursued a side project in German language learning since April 2008 called Deutsch Happen. On the basis of a more or less regular schedule I have produced different kinds of video lessons to test out teaching ideas and to support learners of German as a foreign language who might have no access to paid solutions.

For the past couple of months I have been experimenting with some strategies on how to grow my audience on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube and the results are good enough to take this to the next step: I am building a MVP.

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R:ED May 1st to May 7th 2011

Bill Gates Takes On Education’s Biggest Bureaucratic Beast With Video Games – “As states scramble to understand new educational standards, Gates eyes an opening for video games.” Fast Company

YouTube To Go Beyond Cat Videos By Training a New Class of Vloggers – “YouTube has just announced which members will be inducted into YouTube NextUp and the YouTube Creator Institute, efforts by the video-sharing site to add even more polish to its content.” Mashable

Why College Is Not A Bubble (Except For The University Of Phoenix) – “[…] in reality, demand for an American-style college education, and the long-term value of said degree, is unlikely to decline any time soon.” Fast Company

Openmargin Lets The World See Your Book-Margin Scribbles – “A public digital forum in every book is the Dutch startup Openmargin’s aim. It even thinks it can make money at it.” Fast Company

Study: Kindles Aren’t Quite All That With The Kids On Campus – “Researchers at the University of Washington have found that, while useful, Kindles (specifically that larger Kindles DX) aren’t all that popular with students – yet.” CrunchGear

Grovo: Video Training Platform Grabs Funding To Help Startups Educate Their Users – “Grovo positioned itself as an online education and training platform to enable Web users to find and learn how to use the Web’s most-frequented sites (and vice versa) — beginning with sites like Twitter, Mint, and Amazon.” TechCrunch

Responsibly Matches Your Gifting With A Donation To Education – “responsibly allows you to choose the specific education project you’d like to donate to, and 50% of the original proceeds of every gift purchased will go to the school, matched by another 50% of corporate sponsorship via Donor’s Choose.” TechCrunch

TV Ownership Drops for the First Time Since 1992 [REPORT] – “In a report released Tuesday, Nielsen estimated the number of U.S. households with TVs to be 114.7 million, down from 115.9 million in 2010 — a decline to 96.7% from 98.9%.” Mashable

Mapping the New Age of Augmented Travel – “Ever wanted to travel back in time to your favorite city and imagine how it actually existed hundreds of years ago? Or hear the stories of a city’s residents in their own words while going for a stroll through historical neighborhoods?” Big Think

P2P Learning Startup Skillshare Gets $550,000 From Founder Collective and SV Angel – “Skillshare is a community where people can offer classes to other members. People sign up online, and meet in person for real classes for everything from how to bake cupcakes to how to get startup funding.” TechCrunch

The University Has No Clothes – “The notion that a college degree is essentially worthless has become one of the year’s most fashionable ideas, with two prominent venture capitalists (Cornell ’89 and Stanford ’89, by the way) leading the charge.” New York Magazine

Monday Roundup: Delicious, Tungle.me and Square

In this week’s MRU we take a look at three of my favorite services, two of them got acquired and one got some serious traction.

Hence we will take a look at Delicious which was sold from Yahoo to the YouTube founders, Tungle.me got acquired by RIM and Square that got some love from Apple and Visa.

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How to Create Educational Videos for YouTube

Kirsten talks about the importance of YouTube for online teachers a lot these days. Of course not everyone of you will feel comfortable in front of a camera or maybe you simply don’t know how to start, e.g. what tools you might need to create a video.

Well, the good news is that YouTube recently partnered with three video creating tools which make it really easy even for absolute beginners in video editing or animation to create stunning videos. The bad news, there are no excuses anymore to not start an education series on YouTube.

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Take Aways from last week’s YouTube Partner Event in Paris

It took me a little moment to evaluate how to write this article dealing with the experiences and impressions I took away from the 1st French YouTube workshop dedicated to their partners.

I firmly believe that video content is becoming more powerful in 2011 than it was in 2010 and prior already and undoubtedly YouTube is the biggest and most important video platform and community out on the Internet. Any company in online education to my mind needed to be present with their own YouTube channel and even for individual educators it might add good value to their social media presence besides the other big players Facebook and Twitter.

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2011 The Year of YouTube

Next Monday I will be heading to Paris to take part in a YouTube partner event with the flamboyant title “Devenez une YouTube Star”.

The event is in partnership with the EICAR, Ecole Internationale de Creation Audiovisuelle et de Réalisation and aims at teaching YouTube creators and directors how to gain a bigger audience, produce better content and make more money.

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R:ED February 6th to March 5th 2011

  1. Readability Just Became Instapaper’s Publisher Payment Layer
  2. Google Censors Its Own Education Investment in BitTorrent
  3. 8 Educational iPhone Apps for Small Business Owners
  4. Everloop Brings New Social Network for Tweens to 56,000 Schools
  5. Meet The Father Of The Second Largest Search Engine In The World
  6. LearnBoost Adds Parent and Student Accounts to Its Gradebook (And Why That’s a Big Deal)
  7. TED Launches Quora-Like Platform for Intelligent Discussion
  8. How an Imaginative Child Learning Software Startup Avoided Death by Retail
  9. How Bill Gates’ Favorite Teacher Wants to Disrupt Education
  10. Anaheim School District Takes a Big Brother Approach to Truancy
  11. Bandwidth.com Acquires Dash Carrier Services To Add Emergency Calling To VoIP Applications
  12. StackOverflow’s Careers 2.0 Leverages Q&A To Get Programmers Hired
  13. BookRenter Raises $40 Million To Take On Chegg In Textbook Rentals
  14. Pakistan’s Education Revolution
  15. Why a Former Hedge Funder Is Building a Museum for Math
  16. Skype Teams Up With Citrix To Bring GoToMeeting Web Conferencing To Business Offerings
  17. How the iPad 2 Will Revolutionize Education

R:ED November 28th to December 4th

  1. Skype Video Chat Coming to Facebook?
  2. MyYearbook Introduces Realtime Social Gaming With Video Chat
  3. If Causes Had Its Own Social Network It Would Be Jumo
  4. BarMax’s Efficient Path To $200K In Sales: A $999.99 iPhone App; iPad Version Coming
  5. LinkedIn Thinks Publishers Need Yet Another “Share This” Button
  6. Facebook E-Commerce Platform Payvment Raises $6 Million
  7. ProFounder Launches To Help Small Businesses Crowdsource Fundraising
  8. Inside Qwiki’s Plan to Revolutionize Search [VIDEO]
  9. Sign of the Times: Toy Blocks That Teach Toddlers Social Networking
  10. 5 Innovative Classroom Management Tools for Teachers
  11. Record and Upload Music and Musings Instantly With SoundCloud Update
  12. Inside Kevin Smith’s Booming Podcast Business
  13. ROAM Brings Credit Card Reading to BlackBerrys, Outclasses Square Instantly
  14. Mingleverse Raises $1.4 Million For Online Voice And Video Chat Platform
  15. Fuze Meeting Debuts Multi-Party Video Conferencing Technology With Presence
  16. Viber For iPhone Aims To Rival Skype’s App, Is Amazingly Amazing
  17. Social Networking: The Past
  18. Tinychat’s Video Chat App Is Blowing Up On Facebook
  19. A social network built for schools
  20. YouTube’s Community Police Blow Up Another Innocent Victim
  21. Skype Staffing Up For A Big Push To The Cloud

TenMarks silently built a YouTube Channel with nearly 1300 Videos

As you might know, TenMarks is one of my favorite online education startups at the moment and I am very much looking forward to my upcoming talk and EDUKWEST interview with Rohit Agarwal, one of the co-founders of TenMarks coming Monday.

Today though I stumbled over a little tweet of TenMarks about their YouTube channel and I think this one can compete with the famous Khan Academy.

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YouTubeSocial – Watch Videos simultaneously with your Students

I just came across this nifty service on TechCrunch and thought I should share this with you as I think there are some interesting possibilities to use this in online education.

YouTubeSocial is a service that enables you and your friends to watch any video on YouTube simultaneously and you can even chat with them whilst watching the clip.

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R:ED September 12th to September 18th 2010

  1. YouTube Starts Testing New Live Streaming Platform
  2. Livemocha looks to crack Rosetta Stone with new language service
  3. Scribd Redesign Is An Attempt To Become A “Social Network For Reading”
  4. Barnes & Noble Projects $1B In Digital Revenue, 25% Market Share By 2013
  5. 5min Brings 200K How-To Videos To Dailymotion
  6. Coming Soon: Mind-Reading Cell Phones
  7. Lifeplayer, the MP3 Radio for the World’s Most Forgotten
  8. Foursquare Targets College Students with New Universities Program