What is YouTube about?

betty ming liu Money, Writing how-to's 21 Comments

Most of us visit YouTube when we’re in the mood to watch music videos or silly segments featuring cute babies, cute animals, cute baby animals or cute, stupid people.

But this website increasingly offers much more  — which is why we’re going to spend the next few minutes exploring YouTube.  :)

First, some basic info. YouTube is only six years old, so there’s plenty of room for growth. This operation is owned by Google (who else?!). With 800 million unique viewers, YouTube is positioned to attract serious advertising dollars, according to a recent New York Times story.

To get an idea of what the future might hold, consider the deal it just announced with Disney. The two media giants will spend upwards of $15 million on creating original videos for kids. The project helps both companies to shore up specific weaknesses while capitalizing on each other’s strengths. Disney is a programming king that needs new viewers. YouTube has a strong audience but needs programming focus.

While the big companies figure things out, the rest of us need to too. Beyond the music and fun sillies, YouTube does actually offer a tremendous amount of content:

Given these possibilities, I encourage my students to be entrepreneurial. Yes, they need to consider opening YouTube accounts! It’s like having a profile on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. From here, you can create your own personal YouTube channel; make it another online outlet for building your audience and realizing your dreams.

Even if you don’t want to ever make a video, you can start curating your favorite videos in one place. This collection is a reflection of your point-of-view, your brand. Suddenly, the really stoopid videos have a purpose; they show off your wacky, laser-sharp sense of humor. Or maybe your music videos, viewed as a group, reveal you as a nuanced tastemaker.

And guess what — you can actually make money with YouTube. Who knows what might happen next…once you’re hooked, you might even want to make your own YouTube videos.

To get started, open your own YouTube account. Click here to watch an older how-to video. Even though YouTube has since evolved its design, this segment provides a quick, concise overview of how easy it is to navigate the site and upload videos.

Does this all seem totally overwhelming? If so, then take a deep breathe and exhale. Then, check out the only link from this post that you’ll really need. This link shows you how to use the “YouTube Trends” site.

Oh, and of course I’d love you to visit Betty Ming Liu on YouTube and see what I’m up to. My favorites from around the web include videos related to journalism, food, painting and…cute cats.

But let’s say you want to know how an artist paints a picture of a glass object. To find out, Google “how to paint a glass object.” The search engines might lead you to a video that I made featuring my art teacher Karen O’Neil. Or maybe you want “tips for competing in a food-eating contest.” Google that question and you might find another video that I made (Warning: It’s riveting but kinda gross).

As a newbie at this, I would love some company. Maybe we can explore this world together.  :)

Comments 21

  1. Post
    Author

    okaaaay. right now i am standing here in front of my st. johns “multimedia communications” class students. they are super-bright as well as incredibly diverse in their backgrounds and interests. for this week’s homework, i asked them to either create youtube channels — or tidy up the ones they already have.

    so here they are. they are going to introduce themselves and say a little bit about the youtube experience.

  2. I had a YouTube account prior to Betty’s class, but I decided to blow it up and delete it. I created a new one to make it look a little bit more professional; I didn’t really want all the videos I had previously uploaded to be associated with myself anymore. They weren’t bad at all but they wouldn’t really help me look professional. Now, I mostly use YouTube as a source of music and some parodies.

    By the way, I’m linking here to my Twitter account because it’s more important to me. From the standpoint of my journalism, Twitter is more useful because I can tweet all my articles about St. John’s basketball.

  3. If you’re going to upload content you don’t own, be mindful of its copyright laws. Or else that video’s presence on YouTube will be over faster than Kim Kardashian’s marriage!

  4. Hi Guys,

    I’m Rob. I’m really interested in business, enterprise/entertainment law, and marketing. Anything that has to do with Disney instantly catches my eye. I also love good music. Some of my favorite things on YouTube include covers of popular songs on the radio — and business updates about Disney. Check out my YouTube channel if you’re tired of the same 5 songs on the airwaves or want to be informed of some cool updates going on in the business world.

    All the best,
    Rob

  5. I have had great YouTube experiences. I used Youtube in order to help me relax, I also have a classical playlist and a worship playlist. And over the summer, when I locked my keys in the car, my brother and I found a YouTube how-to video that helped us open the car door without calling a locksmith. It saved us a lot of money! Most importantly, I am now using YouTube to express my political views.

  6. YouTube is on of the greatest innovations of our generation. I’m sure many people wouldn’t have it any other way. I use YouTube for almost everything. I watch random funny videos and music videos. I have also posted stupid funny videos that I made of and some friends. There are plenty of great videos posted by millions of people, and anybody can spend hours on end on the website.

  7. i’ve always used youtube to watch new videos released by musicians. i ALWAYS re-watch scenes from the latest episode of “glee,” right after the episode. but i never realized how much was really out there – this post definitely helped me realize it and gave me tips on how to expand my channel!

    my youtube is just a collection of my favorite songs performed on “glee” – it’s not much but i’m definitely going to expand it with how-to videos about my favorite topics such as cooking & baking. i can’t wait!

    thanks, betty! =D

  8. Privet! That’s “hello” in Russian. That’s my language for comic acting. I also sing in Armenian, English and Farsi. I just made my Youtube channel. I’m excited about posted my performance videos. I’ve always loved YouTube but now I’m favoriting and sharing from own channel. I like it because it’s more organized. And I hope it will link to the singers whose songs I’m curating now. Since I’m only 18, who knows what I’ll do in the future. But this is a good start. =)

  9. I joined in YouTube in 2008 when I was in high school. At the time I had about five videos that my friends and I made lunch period. They’re now deleted; I feel they have served their purpose, so my channel is currently void of anything original.

    I’ve played around with the idea of making videos again and posting them on my channel, but it’s only in the idea stage for now. Maybe I can enlist the help of my friends and make some sort original content. Hmm… I wonder what I would make. Until then, enjoy my channel and my “likes”, which include video game playthroughs, music videos, and commercials.~! http://www.youtube.com/user/TwilightAngel71?feature=mhee

  10. My YouTube experience has given me so much more confidence to showcase my talent of video editing–and rapping skills! It also gave me the opportunity to tell the world things that I care about. My music video “I’m on Patron (Not Really)” which can be found here http://tinyurl.com/732hoqh, is a short freestyle with a strong message of not drinking and driving!

    I really learned that YouTube can be used for fun, but also for videos that can really make a difference!

  11. Hey I’m Eddie Vedder! You might know me as the lead singer of Pearl Jam (*not actually him*). I’ve been using YouTube for a while now, but only recently did I start saving my favorites. My collection is growing into what seems like a random bunch of videos, but there is a method to my madness.

    Some of my videos are funny to me, but not meant to make you laugh (I think?). So if you also find it funny, then great! We share the same sense of humor. Of course, I also have educational videos of how to do things in Photoshop, as I’m always trying to get better in that. My channel speaks for itself so its radiaz91 if you want to have a look.

  12. I post clips from movies like “Lady Sings The Blues,” starring Diana Ross. I also have Erykah Badu clips from her early days before she started singing, when she was dj’n different events. Being able to access these clips is quite amazing to me. Many people use YouTube as just a quick way to watch videos. But I find myself being more so interested in old classic movies and live performances from old award shows.

  13. I pretty much find myself on YouTube everyday. I started using this site to watch music videos and listen to music. Now I find myself watching dance videos. As a dancer on on the St. John’s Dance Team, it’s nice to see the talent out there. People are so creative and passionate. I’m also using YouTube as my how-to guide. I recently looked up how to make a beaded bracelet. It was easy to follow!

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