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Designing a Custom YouTube Channel

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Kris Hadlock, the author of The ActionScript 3.0 Migration Guide, explains how to customize your organization's presence on YouTube, with some relatively easy settings changes to make you stand out from the crowd.

As the social networking landscape broadens, your organization's online presence should grow to match. One social network often overlooked is YouTube. You don't have to be a teenager or a filmmaker to reach YouTube's vast audience; many businesses also can take advantage of YouTube's benefits. For example, your online sales channel could use YouTube to reach the general public, teaching potential customers about your services or showing your product in action. Your support or training divisions could post tutorials or help videos for current users to learn about and keep up to date with the latest features of your product or service. This article shows you how to create a custom YouTube channel for your organization—and make it look professional.

Getting Started with YouTube

The first thing you'll need to do to work with YouTube is create an account. The username you choose for your account will become part of the URL for your custom channel (think of it as your own personal YouTube domain name), so be sure to select a username that represents what you plan to feature in your videos. For example, I created a channel for my product called BlogToTweet, and my custom YouTube URL is http://www.youtube.com/user/blogtotweet.

With your new account ready to go, you can upload videos and begin customizing your new channel. A good place to start customizing is with your profile, where you can add graphics such as a company logo or a photo of yourself. Follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account.
  2. Click the Account tab to go to the Account Settings page.
  3. Click the Profile Setup link to go to the Profile Setup panel. Here you can upload the desired graphic (see Figure 1).
  4. Before uploading the graphic, size it to a final dimension of exactly 88 x 88 pixels. If the image is too large, YouTube cuts off any extra pixels; if it's too small, YouTube adds black space to the edges.
  5. After uploading images, you can customize your profile further by adding a description, home page URL, and so on, as described in the following sections.

These types of customizations can be just as important as videos, because they help users to locate your website and learn a bit about you or your business.

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