As parents, aunties, and uncles, many of us are familiar with our kids, nieces, and nephews visiting the YouTube Top 10 website. It is certainly a common hit for Shera after she finishes her Bishop Seabury Academy homework.
As we know, the same phenomenon is increasingly common among current and prospective future law students. That is partly why our colleague, Mindie Paget, and others, work hard to raise the KU Law profile around the world through social media outlets. Law students look for information about textbooks, courses, and -- of course -- law schools, on sites like YouTube.
So, it was a delight to learn that some legal publishers, including LexisNexis, upload to YouTube "Author's Videos." These Videos are short clips about a textbook or casebook, with the Author as presenter.
The publishers appreciate that to write a book, but not promote it energetically in dignified ways through social media -- ways that in the past might have been dubbed unseemly salesmanship -- is to consign the book (however good) to a dusty shelf.
It was an even greater delight to hear KU Media Productions, headed by Mark Crabtree, can and does produce and edit these Videos, upload them to the KU YouTube website, and share them with legal publishers. Mark and his team does so at a modest cost that a PDA typically can cover.
I have had the good fortune to work with Mark, and LexisNexis, on two clips, one for an International Trade Law textbook, and the other for an Islamic Law textbook. The respective links are:
The reach is fast and far: shortly after the KU uploads, I was happy to receive positive feedback from a Nigerian Professor in Malaysia, and in Singapore one of the links was posted on a FaceBook page. (Of course, there is the risk of negative criticism, but why be scared?)
Such video clips are a fun, but not undemanding, challenge!
To produce two 4-minute video clips took about 3 hours of film shooting. Acting really is physically hard work! And, condensing a book into a short segment for social media, and working in sound bites as to why KU Law is a great place at which to study, took preparatory thought.
Of special significance is that all such clips are more than about the book and author. They are about the institution, its students, and its overall atmosphere. So, in an age of low-cost marketing via social media, the clips are a golden opportunity for the KU Law School.
If I recall correctly, back around September 1985, the Journal of Legal Education ranked the KU Law School Number 4 in the country among all law schools (private and public), based on the quality of its senior faculty, and Strong Hall put out a proud press release. Recently, as set out in the HLS alumni magazine, Harvard Law School launched its first on-line course, in Intellectual Property. Connecting such dots actually offers hope: with YouTube and other possibilities, the playing field is a bit more level, and we can reach far beyond our region, across the country and overseas.