By Mark Stencel and Keith Jenkins
YouTube announced today that NPR is one of a handful of news organizations pioneering YouTube Direct, a new tool that allows us to request, review and display video clips produced and submitted by YouTube users.
YouTube Direct will be embedded on NPR.org, where we can easily solicit user-generated video and feature the pieces our editors select. Our first project will focus on science. The WonderScope Challenge is an occasional series that solicits original video, art and animation related to a particular scientific concept -- and challenges users to "bring the abstract to life." The first concept we are inviting submissions on is "time"; the deadline is Thursday, December 17, at midnight. We'll solicit submissions via NPR.org, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
This is how it works:
1. We create an assignment, like the one described above.
2. Users upload their submissions via the submission box on the page.
3. All videos go into our "submission" box for review.
4. Once a submission is accepted, it is added to the playlist for that assignment. This playlist will be on the submission page and also be shown on our YouTube page. YouTube will also be promoting the assignments on their pages as well.
5. When we selected a user piece for our playlist, it will get a NPR icon attached that will travel with it wherever it is embedded -- on YouTube, our site or elsewhere. If we don't approve the piece, the video remains on the user's own YouTube page.
The WonderScope Challenge is our first foray with YouTube Direct. We're hoping that it will have a number of applications when it comes to collecting and curating user-generated videos. And as always, we welcome your feedback.
(Mark Stencel is NPR's managing editor for Digital News. Keith Jenkins is supervising senior producer for multimedia.)