Expanding the BUniverse
BU’s new video-sharing Web site wants you
| From Commonwealth | By Katie Koch
In the video, watch Ben Agoes, a lead designer for New Media, demonstrate how to upload your videos from YouTube to the new BUniverse.
Noam Chomsky lectures. Cooking lessons by BU’s executive chef. Testimonials from Alternative Spring Break volunteers. All are part of the new BUniverse, BU’s one-stop repository for video content and a kind of YouTube for students, faculty, staff, and alumni.
The site, which launched in April, is the product of a yearlong collaboration between BU’s New Media and Information Services & Technology departments. Their aim: corral BU-related content from around the Web — from BU Today videos to taped School of Medicine lectures to student video blogs on YouTube — in a single, easy-to-use place.
Ultimately, creators say, the success of BUniverse is in the hands of users. Anyone with an active BU log-in and Kerberos password can upload videos and comment on existing videos.
For example, a couple who work at BU could post a video of their wedding in Marsh Chapel. Broadcast journalism students can upload the newscasts they produce for class; a cappella groups can post their concerts for the world to see and hear.
Justin Hook (COM’09, CAS’09) recently uploaded episodes of “Microwave Tinfoil,” a series of comedic Web shorts he created while at BU. He’s already received feedback from viewers on the videos, he says, and he’s confident that more interested viewers will discover the show on a BU-specific video site.
“I’ve tried to post videos from the Bostonia Web site to my blog before, but you can’t embed them,” Hook says. “To be able to just go to BUniverse and know that all BU videos will be there — that’s pretty handy.”
In its first incarnation, BUniverse posted lectures by BU professors and guest speakers on campus. The new BUniverse will still offer lecture-taping services, but unlike the old site, it will include user-submitted content and allow video sharing.
While BU isn’t the first university to launch an online video repository — across the river, MIT hosts TechTV — it is the first to give users free rein in posting content, according to Ben Agoes, a lead designer at New Media.
As with YouTube, videos uploaded to BUniverse will not be prescreened, although the site’s administrators reserve the right to remove offensive or illegal content or videos that violate copyright.