Thursday, March 5, 2015

Thank Tyler Oakley for Captioning by Donating to Trevor!

By our estimate, Tyler Oakley paid more than one thousand dollars out of his own pocket to cover the cost of captioning a video backlog going back seven years. AND he did that now-classic Hear Me Out video (inspired by Rikki Poynter). Now, the international deaf and hard of hearing community has a chance to thank Tyler for captioning and for advocating so strongly for it, by donating to his birthday cause (his birthday is March 22), the Trevor Project.

What is the Trevor Project? It is a nonprofit organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to gay and lesbian youth. You don't have to be a supporter of the gay community to donate. For us personally, our motivation was to say thank you for captioning!

For just $5 minimum (about the cost of a premium coffee, comic book, or a pair of pantyhose), you can say "thank you" to Tyler for captioning by donating at http://www.prizeo.com/tyler.  (To make a $5 donation, select "I'm In" then scroll down to "enter a custom amount" and enter $5.00). Prizeo takes both Paypal and credit cards. You can even leave a message (at the time of making a donation) for Tyler on the supporters' wall. Others have already left messages for Tyler thanking him for captioning, as shown below. Leaving such a message, even anonymously, is highly encouraged! You don't have to be a fan to donate!



 

Remember this video? It has had a huge impact on the YouTuber community! Over 1,678,000 views and still going since its initial posting on January 16, 2015! All those views mean that more and more hearing people - especially young people - are becoming aware of the need for captioning online. It has already inspired many small youtubers to begin closed captioning.  Thank Tyler by donating to the Trevor Project!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Want Smosh Captioned? Go After Defy Media!

It is impossible to get the attention of Smosh. Several people tweeted Smosh in response to Tyler Oakley's video, asking them to caption. But Smosh has over 2.5 million followers on Twitter, which means that a tweet to them never gets noticed. So how to get Smosh to notice your demand for captions?

Answer: Go after Defy Media! Defy Media is the company that owns Smosh and also Break.com, a site that also does not caption and recently started offering free movies online. Defy Media has only just over 1,000 followers on Twitter. which means a tweet to them is more likely to be noticed. Defy Media has a facebook page with fewer than 2,000 likes, again that means it is easier to be noticed.

So if you want captions on Smosh - and you should want captions on Smosh, because of Smosh's sheer size and huge potential influence on YouTube if they caption (19 million subscribers on main YouTube channel, a game channel, a cartoon channel, and a movie coming out soon), reach out to the following:


  1. Defy Media Facebook - You can either post on the page, or send a private message.
  2. Defy Media Twitter - @defymedia
  3. Defy Media's President - @keithrichman
  4. Defy Media's Marketing - @eliztesch
  5. Defy Media's Search Engine Optimization Specialist - @hotelcafejunkie
  6. Defy Media's Creative Team - @defycreatives

And, of course, don't forget the #CaptionSmosh petition!


Friday, January 23, 2015

Caption Action 2 Salutes Tyler Oakley!

It finally happened!!! A YouTube Superstar, Tyler Oakley, started closed captioning. Not only that, he went back and captioned his entire video catalog. All SEVEN YEARS' worth of videos are now captioned on Tyler Oakley's YouTube channel!

How big a star is Tyler Oakley and how much of an impact is this having? Huge!! Tyler has six million subscribers on YouTube and over three million followers on Twitter. Tyler also:
  • Won the 2014 Teen Choice Award for male web star
  • Was the 2014 Streamy Award Entertainer of the Year
  • Appeared with Michelle Obama in a video posted four months ago
Last week, Tyler posted a viral video, "Dear YouTube: Hear Me Out,"  that is STILL going strong a week later! As of this writing, it has over 1.2 million views worldwide. Tyler cleverly started the video by talking silently, with no sound. What better way to get the message across? Many of his hearing fans freaked out, thinking that their headphones had broken.



Plus, the hashtag Tyler used, #HearMeOut, trended worldwide on Twitter last week. Suddenly, thousands of hearing people - YouTubers included - became aware that there was a segment of the population missing out! Thousands of people, mostly hearing, tweeted their favorite YouTubers asking them to caption. Furthermore, many people took Tyler up on his invitation to translate the captions into multiple languages. Tyler is still tweeting about captioning. Just today, he tweeted "I'd love to see my YouTube friends join in and caption."

As a result of Tyler's video, many smaller YouTubers have begun closed captioning or announced that they would begin captioning! Over at Captioned Web TV, we have been feeling like kids in a candy store, picking and choosing who to publish. (We can't publish every YouTuber who captions).

Tyler is not the first YouTuber to post a video about the need to caption. In the past couple of months, several YouTubers have tweeted about the need to caption YouTube. Many were inspired by YouTuber Rikki Poynter, in her video Deaf Accessibility on YouTube! (Rikki had earlier also done a video "YouTubers, You Need to Closed Caption Your Videos!")

However, Tyler is the biggest YouTuber to date to tweet and post a video, about the need to closed caption on YouTube. So he has given captioning advocates the biggest boost yet! That boost was sorely needed, given that watching online video has become even more popular with young people.

BUT.

Many of the top YouTube superstars have been remarkably silent even after Tyler's video was posted and he tweeted. One top YouTube star, Lily Singh, whose IISuperwomanII channel has over 4 million subscribers,  has indicated that she will look into captioning. Another top YouTuber, Hannah Hart, has tweeted in support of captioning, though she doesn't caption yet. However, there has been no reaction from top YouTube stars Pewdiepie, Smosh, or Epic Meal Time. One YouTube superstar is not enough to truly change things. We need more.

Also, we also still have the challenge of getting web series closed captioned. Web series are separate from YouTubers. As we explain it in the Facebook group Caption Action 2, there are two types of YouTube. Type I YouTube encompasses "traditional" YouTubers whose videos do not involve acting and telling stories. Most vloggers are Type I YouTube. Type II YouTube is the "storytelling" type and is closest to traditional television, because it involves real acting and real scripts. Both types of YouTube are important and deaf and hard of hearing people deserve access to both sides of YouTube.