YouTube User Guide

YouTube User Guide

YouTube allows users to post their video files and share them with other people. It is the premier video hosting and sharing website, and has something for everyone; from comedy spoofs to movie clips to music videos, if it has been on video it is probably on YouTube. Beyond videos, YouTube can bolster your social media campaign by allowing you to upload videos and share them through Facebook, Twitter, blogs, webpages, and more.


Getting Started

  1. Visit the Create Account page or Sign In if you have an existing Google/Gmail account. Follow the onscreen instructions to create your YouTube account.
  2. Once you’re logged in to YouTube, click where it says your new username in the upper right-hand corner and then click “Account” from the dropdown menu. On the following page, click “Profile Setup” from the left-hand menu; here, you may enter basic information about yourself or your project.
  3. Create and upload your first video! Click “Upload” at the top of the screen to either upload a saved video file or record live from your webcam. For more information about video specifications, see “Best Practices” below, or contact the UChicago Creative.
  4. Depending on the video file size, and your Internet connection speed, the upload may take some time to complete. While waiting, you may give your video a title, description, keywords (to make it more searchable), and select a suitable category. After the upload, your video will require some time to process before it becomes publicly viewable.

Best Practices

  • Watch this short, informative video, YouTube 101: How to Upload, for step-by-step instructions of how easy it is to put your video on YouTube.
  • While logged in to YouTube, go to “http://www.youtube.com/user/your-username to customize the look of your profile page, or “Channel.” Use the options at the top of the page to select from available themes, colors, and settings, as well as to add or remove information boxes (or “modules”) and specify featured videos and playlists.
  • The titles and descriptions for your videos should include any information that might potentially be used to search for your video. Titles must be less than 100 characters in length and descriptions might include a link to relevant information somewhere on the University’s website.
  • When creating keywords for your video, consider using synonyms and misspellings of words that users may use to search.
  • Although YouTube is very flexible when it comes to video file formats and settings, there are ways of creating your video that may work better than others. For this reason, YouTube has created a list of preferred video formats.
  • Some video editing programs (such as Apple iMovie) have a “Save/Export to YouTube” that will ensure your video offers the best-possible image and sound quality.
  • UChicago Creative is happy to assist with all your YouTube video creation needs. Even if you already have some skills with video editing and compression, we recommend you check first with CMIG to ensure your video meets our production standards. This will also make sure your video is compatible with other multimedia networks, such as iTunes.
  • If any of your videos become very popular (i.e.: has been viewed thousands of times), YouTube may ask you to become a “YouTube Partner.” This program allows YouTube to place advertisements alongside your video and, in return, you may earn revenue. DO NOT sign up for these types of programs without first consulting your supervisor and the University’s Legal Counsel, as it may conflict with official University policies.
  • Analytics: At this time, the only analytics information available for your videos and Channel can be found by visiting either your Account Overview or My Videos page. The Account Overview provides information on Channel views, subscribers, and overall video views, while the My Videos page will detail views, likes, comments, and responses for each of individual video. (Link: YouTube Analytics)
  • Mobile viewing: You may specify whether you would like your videos to be viewable on mobile devices by going to My Videos and clicking “Edit” for a particular video. On the Edit page, click “Syndication” at the bottom of the page and then check Yes or No.
  • Video embedding: You may specify whether users can embed your videos on blogs and social networks by going to My Videos and clicking “Edit” for a particular video. On the Edit page, click “Embedding” at the bottom of the page and then check Yes or No.

Tools & Resources

YouTube Help – Click here to troubleshoot any issues or technical concerns that you may be experiencing with your YouTube account.


Examples on Campus

The following are a few examples of YouTube at the university. Contact us and let us know of some good examples of YouTube on campus.

  • The official UChicago YouTube Channel features interviews, panel discussions, lectures, documentaries, and more from all corners of the University of Chicago community.
  • The University of Chicago Medicine and Argonne National Laboratory Channels both offer excellent examples of how to incorporate official logos, colors, and branding into your Channel design.
  • If you’re unsure how to write effective, searchable titles, descriptions, and keywords for your videos, look at any of the videos posted by Voices in Your Head (a UChicago a cappella singing group) and click “show more” underneath the video player.

Help and Feedback

Contact us if you have any questions about using YouTube, or if you feedback on this page.

Connect and collaborate with communicators across the University.

Join the Campus Communicators to share updates and announcements with University colleagues via listhost, Facebook, and at workshops and biannual gatherings.

Find an array of UChicago new media sites, as well as contact information for their owners, in the Social Media Directory.

Create targeted communications campaigns and digital platforms.

Work with UChicago Creative’s team of designers, writers, and producers to develop compelling materials and comprehensive multimedia campaigns.

Enlist University experts to build, design, and support your web applications by partnering with Web Services.

Discover resources to enhance your communications platforms and outreach.

Follow social media and multimedia from across the University at UChicago Social.

Collect and disseminate our latest stories with print-on-demand news.

Capture the images and ideas of the University community.

Enlist UChicago Creative to produce expert videography.

Book the TV studio for broadcast interviews.

Book the sound booth for remote radio interviews.

Align the look and language of your communications with those of the University.

Find best practices for the use of our logo, typeface, color palette, and editorial style within our visual identity.

Build and refine social media sites using our social media guide, and find web writing tips in Web Services’ multimedia content guidelines.

Order print materials created for your audience and customized for your office.

Present a uniform look with University of Chicago business cards and stationery for your department, office, or position.

Purchase maps, calendars, and brochures to welcome your guests and visitors to the University.