So your kid wants to be a YouTube star


Entertainment, Internet Safety / Saturday, September 30th, 2017

I had mixed feelings when my son asked if he could post a YouTube video of him reviewing and playing online games. One side of me was, wow this is a great learning experience for him. Other thoughts were not so positive but cautious, asking myself questions like “what happens if he gets some really bad feedback or criticism?” and “What about privacy?”. All of my concerns had vanished once I found out that some are making millions ……. just kidding  😉 This is the approach I ended up going with.

Securing web browsing for your child (Google Chrome)

To ensure my children are less likely to come across content I’d rather them not see I follow the steps Enable safe searching in Google and restricted viewing with YouTube in a browser. Some of the benefits are:

  • Turns on SafeSearch
  • Enables YouTube Restricted Mode. Enabling this setting allows you to specify that you do not want to see potentially objectionable content on YouTube.

One of the additional benefits of being under YouTube Restricted Mode is it will prevent comment from being displayed to the child for their videos. Making video’s public means anyone can comment and also means there are comments which may not be best for the child to read at a young age, IMHO.

Sign up for a Google Account

Note: There are age requirements on Google Accounts which you should be aware of.  Google are taking steps by introducing Family Link but this currently only available in the US. It is recommended to use the Family Link approach for creating accounts under the age of 13 and if you live in US. You can also refer to googles Privacy & Terms.

  1. Browse to https://myaccount.google.com/
  2. Choose your name = I usually like to have <first name>.<last name> but this may not always be available
  3. Birthday = <Put your (adult) birthday>
  4. Password = <enter a reasonable password, your child will not need to remember this> (For tips on how to manage password refer to Managing your passwords for Apple users for free)
  5. Once logged in select “Signing in to Google” and make the following changes:
    1. Select Password & sign-in method > 2-Step Verification
      1. Select “GET STARTED”
      2. Enter your cell number
      3. Enter the code send to your cell
    2. Select Account recovery options
      1. Select “Recovery email – Add a recovery email to help secure your account”
        1. Enter you email address as the recovery email (Use to reach you in case Google detects unusual activity in this account or if they accidentally get locked out
      2. Select the section “Recovery Phone” – Add a phone number to help secure your account and add a recovery phone. (Enter your cell phone number). Google will send a code to your phone which you then enter into the site.

Create a YouTube Channel

  1. Login to the Google account just created
  2. Browse to https://www.youtube.com
  3. Select the profile and My channel
  4. You will be prompted with “Use YouTube as…”. As this is for your child I recommend not putting the child’s first and last name. This is up to you and you also have the option of selecting the link “Use a business or other name”. This allows you to select a generic name for the Channel
  5. Refer to Create a new channel for more information
  6. Select your profile and Settings
  7. Select Overview > Add or remove managers

    1. Click “MANAGE PERMISSIONS”
    2. Select “Invite new users”
    3. Enter your email (adult) address
    4. Choose role = Owner
    5. The adult will then receive an email to subscribe as Owner. Accept the invitation

Setup the Channel and Produce content

You can now setup basic changes to your Channel such as creating  channel art and setting up basic information regarding the channel. I was even surprised to find a YouTube Creator Academy with lesson and courses you can follow. If you happen to hit the jackpot with your channel they even have YouTube Creator Awards for those Channels that reach a particular milestone of number of subscribers.

Do not under estimate the power of the internet and its reach, for a perfect example have a look at Gary Vaynerchuk’s video How The “Backpack Kid” Became Famous | GaryVee Business Meeting. On a side note, if  you find yourself in a situation where you have something that is worth looking more serious into checkout https://www.garyvaynerchuk.com for guidance and direction for producing content and the hustle game in general.

My recommendation is to start simple and let your child have fun and talk about things that interest him or her.

Creating videos

There are many video editing software out on the market but if your on a Mac the easiest is to start with Apple’s iMovie. It’s just a matter of exporting the video from iMovie and uploading to YoutTube. To export from iMovie I instruct my child to do the following to ensure the video are not too large:

  1. From the menu select File —> Share —> File
  2. Quality = Low
  3. Resolution = 720p

If your child is interested in creating videos which also include showing activities on a computer such as a game review or web site there is software out there that will assist with this. As I’m using a Mac I used Open Broadcaster Software. This allows you to embed a camera into the video you are recording popular for YouTubers who play games and review them at the same time. After installing OBS I did the following:

  1. Change settings
    1. Recording Format = mp4
  2. Create your video
    1. Start OBS (Black icon)
    2. Sources —> WindowCapture
    3. Name it <the topic you are recording>
    4. Source —> Select FaceTime HD Camera (built In)
  3. Position the camera in the right location of the screen where you would like your childs face to be

Discuss with your child and Precautions

Discuss with your child what it means to have a YouTube channel and it’s worth covering or revisiting childs safety on the internet. Here are a few points to consider:

  • Subscribe to your child’s YouTube Channel
  • Implement a process where you will review every video before the child uploads the video
  • When reviewing the video be on the look out for things such as:
    • Child is wearing school uniform, sports uniform
    • Items in the background of the video that can be used to find more information about your child’s or your families life (family photos)
  • When recording games (such as using OBS) or anything on the computer, look out for displaying your child’s name or other information. For example when you create a Mac user profile the users name is displayed on the top right corner.

One surprising story I have (surprising because my son actually listened to me) is my eldest son (10 years) was videoing outside our front house on the street. He actually covered the street number with white paper to ensure it wasn’t being shown in his video. If you can make your child aware of such things, it will make the review process a lot easier and you will have a better chance of picking up these type of things.

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