How-To

How To Control the Online Discussion with Google Moderator

Google Moderator is a feature that has allowed some pretty big names to have discussions with their audience without chaos ensuing. It provides a controlled environment where viewers on YouTube can ask questions and, if their question is popular among other Youtubers, get it voted up and answered. It’s like your own personal version of Digg…with video. Now, it’s available to all users.

Moderator is a versatile, social platform that allows you to solicit ideas or questions on any topic, and have the community vote the best ones up to the top in real-time.

Moderator was used in discussions on YouTube with Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. It’s also been used to facilitate discussion about the future of the African continent and who is the best slam dunker not in the NBA. While YouTube has made updates to the commenting system to make it more manageable and inviting, it’s still difficult to have any type of meaningful discussion within the comments. The noise easily drowns out the signal. Google moderator turns the tables in your favor.

Your first step is to add the Moderator module to your YouTube Channel. Just open the Modules drop down from your channel page and check the Moderator box (don’t forget to Save Changes).

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The next step is to create your first series. This refers to the entire discussion thread. Your Title is where you ask your community for questions, ideas, or suggestions on some topic. The Description allows you to got a little more in-depth as to what you want from your audience. You can optionally include a link to a YouTube video here if you are more comfortable expressing yourself on camera or need to attach related video content. One thing to note is that you can actually specify whether users will submit mostly questions, ideas, or suggestions. You can also specify start and end times for the series if it coincides with an actual event or you just want to limit responses.

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Each user response can also have a video link attached. There is no way to comment on individual post, which helps to keep things clean and focused. The only way a viewer can give feedback is by giving an item a thumbs up/down. Those items that get the most positive attention float to the top so that you can provide a video response.

Besides being a great way to get user feedback on serious issues, this is a great feature for YouTube personalities that thrive by entertaining or helping their audience. It will be easier to crowdsource your audience. Whether it’s a certain song they want to see performed, some problem that needs a solution, or some type of challenge they want to see completed. A great way to keep the good content flowing.

How will you use Google Moderator?

3 Comments

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ileane says:

I would love to see this feature take off and add some real value to conversations on YouTube. Most of the videos on my YT channel are tutorials and I think it's cool to find out if they're helpful or if there's a question. A few questions were posted in the comment sections in the past so I think that will do for now. This feature would be very effective for brands that are introducing a new product or just want to get feedback for an existing one. But they have to be open to making changes based on what users are saying.

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