Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern YouTube channel expands communication

Students who spend time procrastinating by watching videos on YouTube might now actually learn something from what they watch.

Northwestern has established its own channel on the popular video Web site. The Web site, youtube.com/NorthwesternU, offers a wide variety of videos, ranging from lectures about global warming to performances by the NU Symphony Orchestra to last year’s State of the University speech by University President Henry Bienen.

“It’s a new initiative for the university. It’s a new vehicle for distributing the content and as it becomes more widely known we fully expect there to be a broad range of stake holders that will be interested in posting their content,” said Harlan Wallach, digital media architect lead for NU Information Technology’s academic technologies.

NU is not the first university to expand to multimedia communications. Several schools have already established YouTube channels, such as the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California, and others have created channels on iTunes, featuring podcasts, lecture videos and audiobooks.

“It’s obviously a very important means of communication these days, and we wanted to make sure we were on top of that,” said Brendan Cosgrove who works as a broadcast/ Web content provider in the University Relations department.

“YouTube is the lingua franca of the video world,” Wallach said. “It’s the 900-pound gorilla.”

The Web site is currently divided into five sections: academics, research, arts, news and events. Bienen’s upcoming State of the University speech on Feb. 21 will soon be added to the site.

However, YouTube will not become more of an excuse for students to skip class and watch lectures later.

“We won’t be taping actual classroom lectures and putting them online,” Cosgrove said.

The focus will instead be on guest lectures and programming NU creates for its partnership with the Big Ten Network.

The university originally had programming with Google Video. The programming was later “absorbed into” YouTube when the Web site was bought by Google, said Alan Cubbage , vice president for university relations.

The idea for the project was further developed when Cosgrove posted YouTube videos created by University Relations. Soon after, it was decided the program could be applied to the entire university. After that point, creating the YouTube channel took only a few months, Cosgrove said.

Teaming up with YouTube has given the university many advantages and a larger set of options than the normal online user. One of the perks is more space for video, Cubbage said.

“What we’re attempting to do is provide a good variety of content and in turn what they’re doing is providing us a channel that has more capacity,” he said.

Higher capacity means NU will be able to post more frequently and use longer videos on the site than a normal user could. Some posted videos have exceeded one hour in length.

Luke Bonucci, a Weinberg sophomore, said he usually likes watching funny videos on YouTube that he finds through his e-mail. He might watch some of the online programming NU will offer, he said.

“I think it could be interesting to see what is on there if I knew the people that were associated with it or if it was a topic that interested me,” Bonucci said.

The videos will not solely be for those within the university community, Cubbage said.

“It’s another way of showcasing many of the interesting and good things that happen at Northwestern,” said Cubbage.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Northwestern YouTube channel expands communication