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. I use YouTube for various things! It mostly serves as an outlet for watching music videos from all types of artists. In other cases it allows me to get in a good laugh by re-watching hilarious videos over and over again. Have you ever seen that one about the girl who’s singing and gets on a table and busts her ass? It never gets old!

    And what would my photography professors think if I asked them about basic camera techniques — the ones I missed that they discussed in class while I was sleeping?! Thank goodness for how-to videos! :)

  2. I love using YouTube! I use it for almost everything from how-to’s to music videos. It’s even good for when you’re just looking for a good laugh. I also want to start exploring ways to use YouTube videos to market. I am the publicity chair for St. John’s ALFSA (a Greek council for all the African American and Latino fraternities and sororities). And I am the marketing chair for my chapter and a part of my sorority’s national marketing team. I was actually asked to join the marketing team because of promotional video I that I uploaded to YouTube! There’s so many ways to market on YouTube from posting videos of photos, strolling videos, information for people who are interested etc.

  3. YouTube is my friend. Besides FaceBook and StumbleUpon, YouTube is the only thing I usually use when I’m online. From a very early age, I’ve been obsessed with music. Live music in particular. I often use YouTube to take me to concerts I wouldn’t be able to attend personally — usually because I wasn’t born at the time (so it would have been impossible for me to attend).

    I’m one of those people who should have been born 10 years earlier. I wish I was 21 in 1991 and my YouTube account reflects that. If you’re looking to listen to bubble gum pop, my channel is not for you. Grunge, Punk, and Alternative music to rock out to here \m/(>.<)\m/


  4. My experiences on YouTube are always interesting. Even though I have not uploaded a video yet, I have tons on my D.A.N.C.E play list — especially on belly dancing. Some of these videos are step-by-step videos so you are guaranteed to pick up some really hot moves.

    If you enjoy traveling, you will find many videos about exotic destinations among my favorites. I also grew up on Bollywood so if you look through my favorites, you will find some FREE Bollywood flicks!

    YouTube is great and useful. At the end of my busy days, I always check my page. By the way, I also welcome comments and subscribers to my page.

  5. Post

    and that’s my class! we also used the commenting as an exercise in learning how to blurb on blogs. strong comments can become a way for the reader to make connections with the blog host — as well as other readers. it’s a powerful tool.

    many of these students are blurbing publicly for the first time so they’re a bit shy. as you can see, some of them aren’t ready to link to their youtube accounts and have you meet them — yet. but some of them are…ready! so i hope you’ll visit the ones who are putting themselves out there. we’re all learning. :)

  6. Pingback: My YouTube inspiration for you

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