Don’t know if you’ve noticed but YouTube released about a month ago a new feature available by default for all the videos it hosts (unless you disable it): Data and Statistics.
As explained on the YouTube Help Center’s section about Data and Statistics, this new feature is meant to “show you what factors are driving the video viewcounts on the site” and can be used to better understand how other videos became popular and learn how to grow your own audience and increase the popularity of your uploads.
When available, Statistics and Data can actually tell you a lot about how the videos from other institutions perform.
Here is an example for a fairly successful video (36 139 views at the time of this writing) from Duke University uploaded in January 2008: Mind Control Monkey Moves Robot in Japan
As I mentioned above this default feature can be disabled (and some of the front runners on YouTube EDU have already chosen to keep the data to themselves), but it does make a lot of sense to share this data with the rest of the higher ed community (and the world) so we can all learn from successful higher ed videos.
Elizabeth Giorgi from the University of Minnesota has been working on this formula for some time and with some noticeable successes including an online video with more than 1.5 million views in less than 2 months. She will explain what she has learned in the webinar she is scheduled to present on September 17, 2009, as part of the Online Videos 360 series: Going Viral With Your Video: How to produce and promote a YouTube hit.
But beyond this kind of individual contribution to the general body of knowledge, if we all share this data, we might be able to come up collectively with the right formula for the perfect viral video.
So, do you share this data for your videos or do prefer to keep it private? Why?