YouTube’s great example of content reuse

I found a brilliant and surprising example of content reuse when I wanted to upload the latest Content Content podcast to YouTube.

I’d never uploaded a podcast to YouTube before, so I tried to upload the mp3 file directly. YouTube quickly told me that wasn’t allowed.

You Tube lets you know that you can't upload mp3 files, and guides you to instructions to create a video file
You Tube lets you know that you can’t upload mp3 files, and guides you to instructions to create a video file

I clicked the link, and they have a nicely written topic about how to create a video using familiar tools to add images to your audio and then save as an accepted format.

YouTube topic page for converting an audio-only file to a format that YouTube accepts.
YouTube topic page for converting an audio-only file to a format that YouTube accepts.

So then I looked around their help system to see what export settings YouTube recommended. On the relevant help topic, they asked a question about which format you wanted to convert.

YouTube's supported file format page asks users what format they're trying to convert if one of the accepted formats aren't what they're starting with
YouTube’s supported file format page asks users what format they’re trying to convert if one of the accepted formats aren’t what they’re starting with

When I selected the mp3 format answer, the same topic appeared that I found before, embedded in the page.

youtube_supported_file_formats_after_expansion

The smart folks at YouTube decided to reuse the content, aiding the user and saving them at least one click, and certainly reducing search time. It’s a great example of thinking through what people are looking for and how to react to that.

Have you seen other good examples of reuse on the Web? Let us know in the comments.

One thought on “YouTube’s great example of content reuse”

  1. Cool example, Ed. And smart of the YouTube writer to embed that topic so that people (like you) see it right where they need it, which may be in multiple places.

    You ask for other good examples of reuse on the Web. I recommend Jen Brass Jenkins’s article Automating Content Reuse: One Marketing Team’s Story, which gives a peek behind the scenes at how her team feeds (reuses/embeds) blog posts, podcasts, and news stories throughout various websites at the University of Utah Health Care system. Inspiring and informative.

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