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Meet Alex, ALSF’s Founder, in the introduction to the award-winning documentary Alex Scott: A Stand for Hope. We’ve analyzed nearly 400 science communication videos to understand what the successful YouTube science communicators do – those with numerous subscribers – that less successful communicators do not. Nevertheless, the most important consideration for gaining subscribers is to connect with your audience. Unless you plan on creating the next TED or Big Think, vlogging or voice-over animation is most effective. Most of the successful science channels address a relatively narrow subset of science topics. The tough decision for you is: do you cover topics you know well and risk jargonizing your audience to death; or, do you cover topics you do not know well, requiring you to conduct more research to create each video? Regardless of your feelings about the waning attention spans of internet users, the simple fact is the YouTube audience is not captive. Ditching the introduction becomes especially important if your videos have pre-roll adverts. Provided you are speaking clearly, if the audience misses something they can simply replay the video. One of the biggest blunders you can make is to treat YouTube as merely a video hosting platform. YouTube is a participatory culture, and you need to be part of the community if you want to grow your channel. As you will see in the following video, top science YouTubers appear in each others’ videos from time to time, and this benefits everyone involved.

Watch out in this video for Henry (MinutePhysics), Destin (Smarter Every Day), Greg and Mitch (ASAP Science) and Elise Andrew (I F***ing Love Science). A major driver of a channel’s popularity is whether the channel has a consistent presenter from video to video. Channels with regular communicators, such as SciShow, are significantly more popular than channels with changing presenters, such as RiAus. More than 100,000 views after just one day on YouTube which is more than double the RiAus interview with celebrity physicist Brian Cox online for four months. This is because having just one person appearing in your videos makes it is easier for your audience to connect with your channel. There are numerous reasons for why YouTube grown channels are more popular – most reasons simply reduce to connecting with the audience. Successful science YouTubers keep their channels human and maintain authenticity by doing “Science Plus”. Re-read this article, especially point number 7, then find your science plus angle and give it a go. This entry was posted in Communication, Early Career, Tips and tagged The Conversation, YouTube.
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As a token of appreciation to guests who help “give hope”, we will provide a $1 off coupon off their next purchase of any pretzel or drink. Licensed under CC-BY.Hundreds of hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and hundreds of millions of hours are viewed daily, including many that cover areas of science. Grant originally appeared at The Conversation, a Social Science Space partner site, under the title “What makes a popular science video on YouTube”1. You only have to watch the first 10 seconds of each to realize these videos are aimed at different audiences.
For instance, vlogs can be done on a relatively low budget, but being in front of the camera may not appeal to you.

Although you will not run out of material any time soon, don’t try to cover everything either. For instance, Numberphile is principally about mathematics, and MinutePhysics is about physics (though very few videos actually run for just a minute, they are short and to the point). If your video is not holding the viewer’s attention, there are plenty of other videos that will. As a viewer, we don’t need you to introduce the video or the channel with some flashy logo or a 30 second preamble. Speaking 100 to 150 words per minute is fine for a live audience presentation but your YouTube audience is different.
Your video should be short enough to make its point, but long enough to make the point clearly for the target audience. Channels created by an individual or small group have an authenticity that is difficult to recreate within corporate bureaucracy. If you want to create science videos but think starting now is pointless because there are too many other channels, then you’d be wrong. While you can comment on any of our articles without registering, create an account now to be able to connect with other members, discuss new topics in our forums, and to get regular email alerts with the latest news. In a autmotive garage when you sweep up metal shavings from car parts transmission and stuff those cocroach things could be much smaller to the point even if you inhaledx they go to your lungs and explode.
Despite this, if you want to use YouTube for science communication, reaching an audience is not always guaranteed.

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