I have a confession to make. I have an addiction to YouTube.
Ok so maybe the word “addiction” is a bit extreme. But I absolutely LOVE watching YouTube! I remember back in college my roommate Leo telling me about how he watches YouTube every single day. At the time, I found that to be sort of odd. To me, YouTube was just a place you went to find random cat videos, or maybe a music video for a band you like. I didn’t understand how it was possible to “watch” it, especially not on a daily basis.
That was until I uncovered the power of the subscribe button. The more I started paying attention, the more I realized that each YouTube channel was just that: a channel you could “watch” to find a specific type of content. Just like when you turn on your TV, you expect a certain type of content from different channels. You watch ESPN for sports, Food Network for cooking shows, and Spike TV for cops. Wait, am I the only one who watches Cops? Ok never mind. But you get my point! I discovered that by subscribing to a bunch of YouTube channels that I liked, I would be able to find new videos daily with content that fit exactly what I wanted to see. And to me, this is almost BETTER than cable TV. When you watch cable you can turn to Food Network, but if Chopped isn’t on, you are stuck watching whatever is on at that time. YouTube gives you so much freedom to watch what YOU want to watch, and gives you the ability to go back and watch old videos on a particular channel at any time.
Now, I follow a pretty wide range of YouTube channels. Everything from daily talk shows, to daily vloggers, educational channels teaching about photography and video, tech review channels, and everything in between. This means that on a daily basis I can check my subscribe tab, and see all the newest videos from people I want to see. Now, occasionally I’ll get sucked into the YouTube black hole where I start watching random video after random video, but for the most part I live on my subscriptions page. I think this approach completely changes the way you use the platform as a consumer.
And of course, I learn how to do lots of stuff on YouTube as well. If I ever get stuck trying to do something while editing, need to figure out how to change the windshield wipers on my car, or pretty much everything else in between, you can find a video for that just by searching. YouTube is owned by Google, so they share a lot of the same algorithms and search engine capabilities to find exactly what you’re looking for. I seriously think I’ve learned more about filmmaking and business from watching YouTube videos than anything else. Although I do have an educational background in photography, I’ve never really taken a videography course before in my life. Everything I know about filmmaking and editing I’ve learned from online resources, YouTube being a major one.
So, what’s the point? I think that YouTube is a valuable source of entertainment, education and inspiration that many people are not using as a valuable resource. Plus, in the age of “cord cutting”, YouTube is a great FREE alternative to traditional TV. Have I convinced you yet? Good, I hope so! Here are 3 easy steps you can take to get started to have an awesome YouTube experience:
1) Create & Use a Single Google Account
Most people have a gmail account, but not everyone logs into that account when interacting with YouTube! By using a single gmail account, all of your subscriptions will be located in one place. This means that no matter what device you’re logged into, you’ll always be able to see the content that YOU want to see.
2) Download the Apps
YouTube has fantastic apps that are super easy to use for all your devices. I suggest downloading Google Chrome as your web browser on your computer (this is great for all Google apps, not just YouTube). Get the YouTube app for your phone and tablet. Lastly, if you have an Apple TV, Rokou, FireTV or Smart TV there is most likely a YouTube app for that device. Log into the same Google account on all these devices, and you’re ready to get your YouTube on anywhere you are!
3) Subscribe to a bunch of stuff you like!
This is probably the hardest part. The great thing about YouTube is that there is SO much content out there, but that makes it sort of hard to find high quality content when you’re first starting out. First, if you’re a filmmaker looking for some great free education, or at all interested in our lives you should subscribe to OUR YouTube channel fist. Once you’ve done that, here are some suggestions of channels I love to help get you started:
Whew! There you have it! Once you get started, you’ll start to find tons of things you like! The above categories are things that I’m interested in, but you can literally find “pockets” of YouTube that cover tons more! Let me know, what are YOUR favorite YouTube channels to follow? I’m always looking to find more great content to watch! Leave a comment down below so I can check them out!
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