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We have spent a lot of time talking about the power of video in driving success for nonprofit organizations and are excited to report on a new tool, which will help nonprofits cross a crucial threshold in their online video strategy: the YouTube video editor.
Let's face the facts, taking videos is simple, especially with current technology like Flip video cams and smartphones. However, where organizations begin to stumble is in the post production, or the editing of video content, as this can require both specialized skills and complex computer programs, which can be highly expensive.
YouTube has always been conscious, and considerate, of the video problems facing nonprofits, which is why they rolled out the YouTube nonprofits program, and more specifically the Video Volunteers program, which helped nonprofits find skilled editors to assist them. The YouTube video editor, which rolled out on June 16, seeks to put video editing back in the hands of the user by making it super easy, and free.
This new program just might have the ability to make an amateur video editor out of any nonprofit employee, however, advanced editors may be distraught by its lack of some standard features. Let's check out some of the pros and cons to see if the video editor is right for your organization.
Pro: Its Simple! The YouTube video editor is designed so that anyone can utilize its features, regardless of experience or expertise. To that point, YouTube has intentionally created an uber basic user interface, so that you can create video without being distracted or confused by an unnecessary feature set. Users can quickly make a montage video by trimming their clips, inserting them into a timeline and adding music.
Con: Its Simple! The lack of some pretty basic video features can be quite restrictive. Users might be frustrated by the lack of tools for creating titles and overlays, splitting video clips, adding transitions or really doing anything other than trimming and placing in a timeline.
Pro: Its Online. Because the editing software is hosted on Google's servers, you can create and process your video without it slowing your system or taking up lots of disk space. This will be increasingly important with the use of smartphones. YouTube also can fix bugs and push out new and improved versions of its software at a whim, without requiring a download.
Con: Its Online. While it won't slow your computer, the actual processing of your video can be time consuming. According to pcmag.com a 1 minute 48 second video can take 24 minutes to process.
Pro: Free music for your movies. Editing your movies with YouTube lets you add music from YouTube's AudioSwap music library, a user friendly search engine of tens of thousands of free songs. From my experience, finding good music for your movie can be like pulling teeth, so this comes up very big.
Con: Free music for your movies. YouTube's editor doesn't have tools for editing or splicing the free music it offers, and you can't upload your own audio track. Adding AudioSwap music will also overwrite your previous audio track.
Pro: Its 100% free! This comes at a very ideal time for nonprofits, especially as Windows 7 is the first version of Windows not to come with free editing software, and older online editing programs such as Cuts and Jumpcut have largely failed. Still, it will be a tough battle to win over Mac users who are largely satisfied with iMovie, the free software which comes with every Mac.
So while the YouTube editor's basic feature set may not entice advanced video editors, smaller nonprofits will find huge benefit from its utility, simplicity, and its online capabilities, not to mention that its totally free. What's more, as YouTube has the ability to tweak features and improve the user interface quickly and effectively, we are sure to see a fast turnaround on many of the program's limitations.
Have you used the YouTube video editor? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Other nonprofit video resources from the Case Foundation: