University Presses on YouTube

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Princeton University Press (PUPress) has a YouTube channel at

Here's some Q&A with Chuck Cressy on their efforts.

Does PUP control the Princeton University channel or does the University control it itself?

The press is separate from the university in most of this, though—Banner's Calculus workshop—92 million hits last year!

Is PUP’s video on YouTube just the PUP account at

That's it. And it doesn't get enough traffic on its own for us to devote too much effort to it.

Is this where you house the PUP website videos or do you also serve PUP videos off your own server?

The Banner Calculus traffic pushed us beyond where our own server could handle the load. Fortunately, the university has a load-sharing system that we were able to hook into. (The "coblitz" piece, if you look closely at our links.)

I think putting clips on YouTube or Google Video, and copying the snippits to your own site, makes good sense for most presses. Relieves your own server of a lot of bit-pushing.

If so, what’s the server hardware/software needed for this delivery? (Flash server, right? Etc.)

No, nothing fancy. The Flash is all progressive download. And we don't run it through coblitz. It's just incredibly efficient.

You’ve got more videos listed on your home site, but looks like you’re also including lectures, not just interviews here, yes? Why host them at all on the University server, why not put them all on YouTube? For better control? Too long for YouTube?

The Bartels "Unequal Democracy" panel with Paul Krugman was another joint effort, so to speak. All major public lectures at Princeton are videtaped via remote camera systems these days (sacrifice some quality to save labor) and mounted on the university's website. But I brought two of my own cameras to the Bartels panel, so I could get better close-ups--and I also took advantage of the university's tape, which is all you see on the university's site. Then I did a three-camera edit. Extravagant, but this show got over a million hits--with coblitz's help--during the presidential campaign.

We don't go to that degree of effort for most of the lectures given by our authors at the university. I'm content to link to what the remote cameras recorded at the university's site. But some of our authors give lectures at the Princeton community's public library, and I sometimes tape those.

How about Google Video? Are you guys there as well?

No, I explored it in the early days when they were demanding a format not easy for me to produce. They have since eliminated that obstacle and I may revisit them. I'm not sure they get that much traffic. However, could be wrong. But I'm really content with the iTunes store. (I also directed a bunch of other services to the same xml file at our site that iTunes uses, but I think the others account for a pretty small share of the traffic we see.)

Also, I think I remember that you had involved yourself in the Public Access Television community. Do you think Public Access facilities would still be worthwhile in any way to Press efforts in Video or has the do-it-yourself hardware/software eclipsed this totally and there’s no need to bother with Public Access now?

I think it's still worth developing a relationship with local Public Access stations, at least the higher-quality ones. (I happen to chair the board of the 501-c-3 that oversees Princeton's station, so I'm biased.) The press gives the station locally produced video they are always hungry for, and we borrow equipment from the station when we need it. We also put our videos on a server that is shared by Public Access stations throughout New Jersey, and a lot of those files get fairly wide distribution. There are similar services on a national level now that I need to explore. Just not enough time when you are in the middle of rebuilding a house.

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