Now the power of all those "u suk" comments on YouTube can be harnessed and put to some use. Whether or not it will be good or evil remains to be seen. It's a shame they couldn't find a better way to incorporate it into the channel page though.
Let's face it, YouTube is not known as the center of high-minded dialog. There's more useless trolls, flame-wars and generally immature comments on there than at a 6th grade graduation party. And yet, Google and YouTube seem to think that there's far more to the comments and dialogs happening on videos there. So they are now giving us all a chance to harness that power as a potential tool to get our channels more views and worthwhile commentary.
They have just integrated Google Moderator into every YouTube channel. It's a social platform that gives channel owners the ability to get feedback and foment discussion as well as a sense of community. Users can vote the best dialogs to the top spot in real time potentially netting the channel tens or even hundreds of thousands of views.
Here's how it works: You set the parameters for the dialog, including the topic, the type of submissions, and the length of the conversation. Watch as submissions get voted up or down by your audience, and then respond to the top-voted submissions by posting a video on your channel. The platform operates in real-time, and you can remove any content that you or your audience flag as inappropriate. You can also embed the platform on your own website or blog.
It looks like it has some potential. As there's been some fair amount of discussion lately on the GamersDailyNews YouTube Channel, I thought it was the perfect time to test it out.
Steps to Setting up Moderator:
First, decide the topic or question you want your Moderator series to focus on. Do you want to collect questions for an online interview, ideas for a topic you're thinking about, or feedback on a video you've created? The sky's the limit. Just be sure to clearly define what you're asking for, and be ready to respond to the top-voted submissions that come in.
Once you've got a topic for your Moderator series, go to your channel page and in the "Edit Channel" bar, click on the "Modules" tab.
Click on the checkbox next to "Moderator" to enable the Moderator module on your channel and click "Save".
Then, find the Moderator module on your channel and click on the "Edit" link in the top right-hand corner.
Give your Moderator series a title and description. If you like, upload a YouTube video to help your audience understand exactly what your particular Moderator is about – you can add the YouTube URL to the "video" field in the admin panel, and it will show up on the right side of your Moderator.
You can also decide whether to allow people to submit questions or ideas – and you can set a timer to show your community the deadline for submissions. (Read more at YouTube Help)
But what is it really?
Really what it is, is a polling system like many CMS and websites already have. You can submit a talking point to your viewers and subscribers and they in turn are able to offer questions, suggestions or ideas. So I set one up pertaining to graphics in video games which is currently on display on the GDN YouTube Channel.
You'll notice the large blank area at the top of the channel? Yes, that's the Moderator series. It's taking up a massive chunk of real estate, above your content. I'm sure that's so it won't be missed by your viewers, but really, it looks ridiculous doesn't it? I mean it displaces the entire page contents approximately 850 pixels. That means any visitor will automatically have to scroll to see the video content.
This sure seems like a lame addition to me. It completely removes the focus from the videos, which is what YouTube is all about. I can't help but think that it's more detrimental to a channel than useful. When users go to YouTube, we go there for videos do we not? If we wanted text-based discussions we'd go to a forum or a community site where that's expected. I don't understand why they couldn't roll it up into the comments section.
However, thanks to Mark, I went back and found some tiny little arrows on the right side that allowed me to move the video player to the top making it not so lame as in the image to the right (see second image for cooler placement ).
Now I don't doubt that it has some merit. However, the implementation is far from ideal. Almost every update they've done to channels for the past year has been to put the video content front and center and de-emphasize everything else. Then they go and completely displace it with this. It seems like a lot of other users feel the same way.
I still don't know that it's a perfect implementation but it seems like it could have some value.