YouTube Marketing for Scientists

Just when the pundits foresaw, video is overtaking the web. Youtube has emerged as the 2nd most widely used site on the net, crushing Facebook. And with the growth of video, science video blogs ( vlogs ) are appearing everywhere. There are also the significant budget science vlogs by TED and Google, while popular solo instructional video bloggers such as Dianna Cowern or Derek Muller. But you can still find countless niches to fill, plus there’s continually new, innovative science that ought to be shared, which means that there’s ample space for scientists meaningfully to contribute their very own footage to the cyberspace.
Recently, I had an opportunity to watch and take part at the beginning of a new scientific research video blog ( vlog ) named “Cool Worlds” the work of astronomer David Kipping, an assistant professor at Columbia University. For several years, I’ve been supporting scientists that have a vested interest in outreach to produce their unique videos. David’s engaging in precisely what I pictured: utilizing the platform of online video media to articulate his most recent documents and relevant work of his co-workers. Cool Worlds might not be as classy as informative vlogs, nor as technical as a pro-convention. However it presents occasional readers the ability to find out about groundbreaking research from the individuals who are carrying out the research–and that’s something that will remain fresh.
Professor David Kipping studies planets around various stars. He films and edits the Cool Worlds science vlog in his office at Columbia University.
David records the “Cool Worlds” video clips in his office with the help of a Nikon D5200 DSLR camera, with a 50mm F 1/1 .4 Nikon lens along with a RODE VideoMic Pro. He received the cam for Xmas several years ago ( it’s priced around 500$ ). He already owned a tripod to place it on ( you can acquire 1 for <100$ ). He conducted 2 purchases for the purpose of beginning the vlog: he picked up the lens for approximately 300$ and the mic for at least 200$.
David received the camera that he utilizes for Cool Worlds as a gift.
He began through the use of a standard 18-55 mm focus lens ( there’s often a lens similar to this included with the camera ) and learned that his videos were coming out quite dark. So he bought the modern lens, which collects a great deal of light, so there’s no necessity of specialized lighting. It furthermore makes the background “soft” yet keeps the person in focus.
David edits the recorded material using the iMovie software which is supplied for free on a Mac laptop. The camera records the sound itself through its mic-in port; thus there’s no extra work to undertake to sync up the audio and video. The video lessons play for about 3 to 6 minutes, and it usually takes David about 2-3 hrs to make each video. He’s been creating roughly one each week for the past two months.
David began his vlog because he spotted an opportunity to relate to a vast audience. “I noted that the vlog format is very lucrative on YouTube. Like I’ll see a string of videos online, like evaluations of TV shows like Game of Thrones, and they’ll attain a million hits. I hadn’t too many astronomy outreach speeches done in a vlog format .”

Having a good microphone is important! This Rode mic is positioned correctly on a bookshelf.
Cool Worlds hasn’t yet have reached as substantial an audience as the Game of Thrones videos, but up to now, a Cool Worlds video regarding a cloaking device for extrasolar planets showcasing Alex Teachey has had nearly 20,000 views. That’s a bunch of fun. “There have also been plenty of comments about the video,” David stated. “We filmed a Q&A Video purely to respond to all the comments. There’ve been some strange comments on there, but the majority have been genuine inquiries that we’ve enjoyed replying to .”
David asked me to sit in his desk chair and have a discussion about one of my science projects, while his camera silently recorded me. I stammered and sputtered somewhat. But after about twenty minutes of improvising, there was plenty of material for him to prepare into this mini-masterpiece here. “You don’t even need to invest a lot of time making artist reactions or animations,” says David.
To date, the Cool Worlds vlog is mainly one scientist with a camera, a small budget–and a lot of guts. But nevertheless, take a peek; I bet you’ll be impressed. And as David speaks, “if you can inspire a handful of people to become astronomers–that’s incredibly rewarding .”