There are plenty of wonderful things about the Internet and the ever growing ubiquity of User Generated Content. No where on the web does a better job of making this possible than YouTube. Like most people, I have enjoyed clips from YouTube and shared them with family and friends, but I never really got INTO YouTube until the official YouTube channel for our Roku3 rolled out late last year.
Now that I have an easy way to flag content for later viewing and easy access to subscribed channels I spend a lot more time watching YouTube videos. When someone sends me a link to a video and I want Brian to see it, I just add it to my Watch Later playlist and after work we can watch it on the big screen. I also find myself chain-watching old content from the channels I love. This has been especially true of the John Green videos on the Mental Floss and vlogbrothers channels.
I have long been a fan of John Green’s novels, so I was not surprised to find that I enjoy his rapid fire trivia laden Mental Floss videos like 28 Birthday Traditions From Around the World:
Brian and have spent a lot of time watching those while we work at our PCs or eat dinner. They are like educational candy.
However, the John Green videos I truly love are the explanatory posts he does in vlogbrothers like this one titled Understanding the Central African Republic.
Green does a great job of using video and his tight editing and writing skills conquer TL;DR. He brings in context and perspective in ways that make learning about complex issues both fun and effective.
While there is some great content on YouTube, there are plenty of poorly produced YouTube videos as well, but that is to be expected when you are dealing with the sheer volume of video content pouring into the site. Here are some official YouTube stats that put it all in perspective:
- More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month
- Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth
- 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
- 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
- According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults ages 18-34 than any cable network
- Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3x since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4x since last year