Below is the email I sent to a bunch of my favorite YouTubers to kick off my 2015 resolution of building a more accessible YouTube. Feel free to adapt this email to send to your favorite YouTubers OR if you wanna get real fancy, reblog and tag them!
Hey friends! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a fun and safe new year's! I'm in the process of putting together my new year's resolutions and one thing that’s high on my list is getting my entire video catalogue captioned. So I wanted to reach out to some of my favorite and most successful YouTubers to hopefully get you on the captions train for 2015!
PLEASE CAPTION YOUR VIDEOS!
Pretend I’m this cat, begging you to caption your videos.
Not long ago I became friends with Rikki Poynter, an up and coming Deaf YouTuber who’s leading the charge to get more YouTubers to caption their videos. Here’s a video she did about Deaf accessibility that really inspired me, which is why I’m emailing you!
Now maybe you’re thinking “but what about the auto-captions?” Well,YouTube's automatic captions SUCK.
This is Ken using auto-captions on your videos. He’s HORRIFIED.
Unless you’re speaking perfectly clearly and don’t have any background music, the auto-captions are pretty terrible. So custom captions really are the way to go.
SO WHY SHOULD YOU CAPTION YOUR VIDEOS?
There’s a huge Deaf and Hard Of Hearing community that wants to enjoy your videos!
YouTube can now translate captions into hundreds of different languages! This is an awesome way to reach new subscribers who aren’t native English speakers! YESSS!
BUT ISN’T CAPTIONING TIME CONSUMING AND EXPENSIVE?
Nope! I’ve been using zencaptions.com to caption my videos and it’s only $1 a minute AAAND the first 10 minutes are free! They’re also super fast! I usually get my captions back in at under 24 hours. AAAAND you can write your captions off as a business expense come tax time! Sweet!
If you don’t want to spend money on captions, you can always enlist the help of your audience! Lots of you have huge super dedicated audiences who would jump at the chance to caption your videos for a shout out or some YouTuber swag. A simple video request or Tumblr post will no doubt have volunteers streaming in.
ARE YOU IN? AWESOME!
Yay! Thank you! And look! You’re still in the running to becoming America’s Next Top
Even if you can’t commit to captioning all your videos, if you’re able to start with just some of your most popular videos or your newest videos that would make a huge difference to the Deaf & Hard of Hearing community in addition to non-native English speakers who love your work and want to enjoy your content.
Either way, thanks for reading and giving this some thought. I know many of you are super busy taking over the internet so I appreciate you giving my email a read.