If you have a video that you would like to store or share, YouTube can be a great platform to do this.

It’s free and relatively easy to use. Google (which owns YouTube) provides a great set of instructions at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/57407. Before you dive into those instructions, make sure your video is appropriate and allowable to upload:

1. The video must not be copyrighted by someone else. Defining that is a little complicated:

a. If you created this entirely on your own, you hold the copyright, and you can upload it. Note that a recording of a live performance may not be your own video, so be careful of that.

b. If the video is a portion (more than a few seconds) of an existing movie or music video — even if you recorded it yourself with your own device — then someone else holds the copyright, and you should not post it; it most likely violates copyright and will be taken down.

c. If the video has uncopyrighted images that you remix with copyrighted music, this should be considered “transformative fair use,” and it should be OK. This is why you see so many of these videos on YouTube.

2. The video should be in a supported format such as mp4, MPEG4, 3GPP, or MOV. Anything your phone or computer can capture should be in such a format.

3. Videos should be uploaded in the highest resolution available; YouTube supports high definition video.

4. 16:9 (wide screen video) will fit the YouTube player; if you upload a 4:3 (TV-sized) video, it will work, but the video will be “pillar boxed” (black bars placed on the side of the video) in order to fit the player.

Once you are ready, decide how long your video is.

If it is over 15 minutes, there is a verification process that you need to go through in order to upload longer videos. Instructions on how to do that are on the instructions page at the link given above.

After verification, or if your video is shorter, here are the steps:

1. Sign in to YouTube. (You can use your gmail account.)

2. At the top of the page, click the Upload button. It looks like a TV camera with a + on it.

3. Select Upload Video.

4. Before you start uploading the video, you can choose the video privacy settings. Public will make it searchable and open to anyone. Unlisted will mean that anyone who has the link can view it, but it won’t be searchable. Private indicates that only people with specific logins can access it.

5. Select the video you’d like to upload from your computer. Navigate to find the video file you want.

6. While the video is uploading, edit the basic intro to give it a meaningful name or description. It will take awhile to process.

7. Click Done to finish the upload.

8. You will then see a link that you can share on Facebook, email to others, etc.

Next week, we will go through how to manage the videos you have uploaded.

Carol Sabbar is the director of computer services at Carthage College. Send email to csabbar@yahoo.com.