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YouTube

Friday, February 9th, 2007 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet
 
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Q:
What is YouTube?

A:
That is such a good question. I have honestly been getting so e-mails from you all recently about YouTube. It’s either you’ve seen it online somewhere or you’ve heard your kids or grandkids talking about it. Well, yes, the YouTube phenomenon is more popular among the younger generation, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it too!

Okay, so what is YouTube? It is basically a free video sharing Web site that has gained so much popularity since its release in 2005. The site allows any user to view thousands upon thousands of video clips for absolutely no cost. You can also share the videos with your friends, as well as, upload your own clips if you so wish.

Like I said before, YouTube was founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. In November of 2006, the Google company (you may have heard of them before!) decided to invest a little stock into the video site mania. They then went on to acquire the YouTube company for $1.65 billion. That’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?! All of that money put into a little video viewing Web site.

Well, in all actuality, the site isn’t so little after all. When you visit the site (www.youtube.com), you will see. You can either immediately start watching videos or you can sign up to be a member. If you want to sign up, just click on the Sign Up link and you will just have to enter in a bit of information, along with choosing a username and password. If you become a member, it doesn’t do a whole lot for you, but it’s a little easier to start viewing the videos each time you visit the site.

So, now you’re probably wondering how you can view the videos everyone seems to be raving about. To see a video, all you have to do is click on the picture or the link for it. It will automatically come up on your screen. You don’t even need a special media player installed on your computer to be able to watch the videos. Most of the videos are of a funny content. A lot of them are just normal people doing goofy things, but some of them are commercials you see on TV, some are music videos, etc. There’s a little bit of everything offered on YouTube.

The easiest way to navigate through the videos is to go by category. Click on the Category tab at the top of the page to see all the different categories available. The ones you can choose from are Arts and Animation, Autos and Vehicles, Comedy, Entertainment, Music, News and Blogs, People, Pets and Animals, Science and Technology, Sports, Travel and Places and Video Games. See, there’s something for everyone! One of my favorite categories is Pets and Animals. They have so many funny videos of dogs talking and cats doing silly things, it keeps me busy for hours!

There are also different channels you can look under, including Comedians, Directors, Musicians, Partners, etc. YouTube also has the videos lined up for the Most Recent, the Most Viewed and the Most Subscribed To. On the Web site, you can make a list of your favorite videos as well and even create your own playlists if you want. To do either of those, just click on the Favorites or Playlists links at the top of the main page. Also, if you want to upload your own videos for everyone to see, just click on the Upload Videos link. You do have to be a member to do that though.

Now, I will tell you that some of the videos are of an adult nature, so make sure you keep an eye out for those. If your children or grandchildren like to see the videos as well, monitor them while they’re on the site, but also keep in mind that there are so many awesome and funny videos for them to watch too. There’s a little fun for everyone on YouTube. One more thing to watch out for is getting addicted. It can happen easily and without you even knowing it, so I urge you to be careful. It happened to me and there’s no doubt in my mind that it can happen to you! : )

Now, go get your daily laugh and I guarantee you’ll keep coming back!

~ Erin

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