YouTube Channels: Color me Impressed (e.g., Best of Science Channel)
I've known about YouTube since its very early days. As a software guy and Internet developer, when I see something like YouTube launch, my hopes for worldwide sharing, free knowledge and new kinds of friendships and communication soar. I had visions of watching videos on my laptop instead of wasting my time with network TV and spot breaks that were approaching 50% of air time. I was anticipating great things from this new, free video sharing resource called YouTube.
Only to be brought back down to earth by a million videos of people's cats and skateboard wipeouts. Like a click-by-click, endless run of America's Funniest Home Videos, except without the funny sounds and commentary. In fact, it's more like running through the bin of thousands of rejects that didn't make it to the show. Just finding quality content took hours, and by that time, my brain was in a junk-haze. And I love cats, man! It must have been a wasteland for people that didn't like cats!
And thus I had mostly lost interest in YouTube. Which is why the last six months or so have been such a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure if it is the new channel features of being able to order and group videos, the improved searching and related-video lists that automatically display, or just the availability of free video editing tools and cheap flip-cams that has made the difference (probably all of the above), but I'm seeing a whole new YouTube these days.
We now have some real quality content and some real quality folks making serious runs of shows, presentations, animations, and just plain brilliant creative content *with value*. The comedy troops on YouTube - I hate to say it - blow away Saturday Night Live TV. The musicians are great - I feel like they are all my "home town" musicians working they way into the hearts os fans and friends everywhere.
The biggest category of value, however, is the lifelong learning. YouTube now has channels of all kinds of science, social studies, space exploration, mathematics, history, new technology, languages and linguistics, art instruction and more. Wow.
In this post, I've linked to a great example: The Best of Science channel. I'll be putting more great YouTube Channel links up on the blog and here on the site, so check back (or subscribe via RSS) and get to the new school of the 21st century; the new video encyclopedia of earth. It's free, it's cool, it's happenin', and it's valuable. Yeah!