On January 9, 2006, I began what was to become a new hobby when I posted a Scouting video on YouTube. It was the BSA’s “Scout Zone” video, which has been viewed 51,000 times since it was posted. The YouTube bug had bitten me, and I began to look for other videos to post online.
I posted BSA videos that I had collected over the years. I posted videos of my troop performing songs and skits. I have tried to keep most of my YouTube videos Scouting related, but there have been a couple other subjects that have found there way into my “channel”.
I felt that YouTube was a great way to spread the word about Scouting. It was, and still is, quite popular with all ages, especially with the teenage crowd that is the target of Scouting. Some of the videos posted did quite well and received tens of thousands of hits. Others did not fair as well, receiving no more then a few hundred hits. But I kept posting, hoping to build a little excitement about Scouting and provide a little entertainment at the same time.
On August 17, 2006, I began creating new original content when I picked up a puppet that had been lying in a closet for a few years. Buttons, the radical Boy Scout, was born and has since taken on a life all his own.
Although YouTube offered a means to share these videos with the world I noticed that some of the video quality was lost in the processing. I began looking for other ways to share the videos and keep the quality. I posted the videos to our troop’s website, but it did not have the traffic of YouTube, of course.
Video podcasts had started becoming a more popular and accepted way to post videos online, due in part to the iTunes Music Store listing them. With the help of Mr. Bob, a Cub Scout leader who had his own audio podcast, I began a video podcast called Melrose Scouting Productions. My podcast was accepted by the iTunes Music Store and people began watching. A short time later, I was invited to join the PTC Media family of Scouting podcasts.
Slowly but surely, the podcast has been gaining viewership. In fact, the latest video posts have been receiving more hits through the podcast then they have through YouTube. For example, the “Buttons and Randall Show”, which was posted a month ago, has received nearly 700 hits through the podcast but only 71 hits on YouTube. I will admit that I have been promoting the podcast more then the YouTube site for the last few videos, but I think that people like the podcast more because through the podcast they can download the videos to their computers to watch anytime they please. By subscribing to the podcast through iTunes or a RSS reader the computer downloads the videos automatically.
Here is a question for you. Do you prefer watching the Melrose Scouting Productions videos through the podcast or through YouTube?