Some of the Wonderful Things About YouTube

For the most part, YouTube is probably more a colossal waste of time more than anything else. Take a look at the day’s most popular videos and you’ll quickly see that most of them are relatively useless or at most just mildly entertaining.

Like any big group of anything, roughly 80% will be pretty useless, but there will also be a top tier with some very helpful stuff.

Despite having an enormous TV downstairs with a killer surround sound system, I don’t watch TV at home anymore. I used to watch all the time, but kept asking myself “What the hell did I just do for 6 hours?” So more and more YouTube is becoming one of my most-visited sites. I’ve discovered a few things which make the YouTube experience educational, informative and helpful rather than just a giant distraction for bored students, people with spare time on the job and insomniacs:

USES:
Personally I like learning about interesting/successful people and how they got where they are. I find that subject fascinating. I read about this kind of stuff all the time, but sometimes it’s nice to hear and see the words being spoken. I find the stories inspiring and containing many great nuggets of information.

It’s also great stuff to listen to in the background whilst doing work.

EXAMPLES:

Inside the Actor’s Studio:
The show focuses on celebrities who are very well known, and you often get a very introspective view into the celebrity and the work and hardships they endured to get where they are.

Obviously it’s preferable listening to the celebs who had a similar upbringing to yours, but some of the others are good. Even if you weren’t brought up in a poor, broken home it’s nice to hear what it’s like for others.

I personally just watched the Conan O’Brien interview and thought it was great.
Conan Obrien Interview

Richard Feynman
On one of my library visits I randomly read “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” which I strongly recommend. I loved reading this book, and was introduced to the great physicist Richard Feynman with his very-not-so-scientist-like-antics and brilliant mind.

I think the reason he got so popular was his great layman explanations that help people understand complicated physics, he definitely communicates ideas MUCH better than most intellectual types…..and that small thing he did in the 40′s to basically help build the first nuclear bomb.
Richard Feynman Part 1
Richard Feynman: Take the Word From Another Point of View Part 1

Berkley Physics
I find it fascinating that my dad migrated to the United States from India to get his masters from Berkley….and now I can get all of those same classes online, for free!

Berkley posts many classes online, for free, for anyone to view. No enrollment fee, regardless of age….almost anyone in the world has access to higher education. You’re not going to get a helpful TA to push you along with school work, but any self-motivated person out there can participate in a top-tier college course.

I’m personally taking this Berkley Physics course right now. Getting some of the best professors and special guests in the world on any subject you like? Way better than watching 6 hours of TV.

Archive of American Television:
Sort of like Inside the Actors Studio except more in depth and un-edited. Each interview is somewhere around 4-6 hours, so you get details you normally won’t hear on edited interviews.

The AAT has posted hundreds of their interviews, many names which you will recognize. The other cool thing about these interviews is they generally only interview older people who’ve gone through a lifetime of experiences. I like that.

It’s great listening to these in the background while doing work that doesn’t require intense thought.

I very much enjoyed and learned from the Ted Turner Interview and George Carlin Interview.

Warren Buffet:
Obviously one of the richest men in the world will have some good insights, and his are remarkably simple. There’s tons of Warren Buffet stuff on YouTube but my favorite is this Warren Buffet Speech given to a class of MBA’s.

TIPS:
If you’re interested in learning about a person, simply YouTube search some simply phrases such as:

  • (Their name) speech
  • (Their name) documentary
  • (Their name) interview

Another thing is to realize right away that YouTube user comments are probably some of the most idioc things ever.

————————————-

So while YouTube can be one of the greatest time-wasters of all time, it can also be massively helpful and educational.

I’m a firm believer that most education is learned in your spare time….so why not better yourself with YouTube instead of just wasting time on it?

Ok, fine….a double motorcycle backflip from time-to-time is OK too :-)

Blog posted on: April 7, 2009

18 comments on “Some of the Wonderful Things About YouTube

  1. Abhishek bangalore

    Some other stuff

    stanford videos (on itunes)
    mitworld.mit.edu
    berkeley videos
    lse external videos(on youtube)
    search charlie rose on youtube

    warren’s latest interview on bloomberg. search for it.

    free to choose series(10+10 parts),

    bbc- ascent of man(10 part series)

    connections- james burke ( 30 part series)

    to see more documentaries,

    People’s century-BBC- 26 parts

    Secrets of world war II

    Dispatches, Billy Connolly, BBC- Horizon

    many of the above I’ve gotten from thebox.bz. I’ve just given a brief indication of what’s available.

    Reply
  2. MoneyEnergy

    Hey, that’s great…. thanks for those tips, I hadn’t thought of using YouTube for (1) personal development/success stories and I would never have known that (2) Berkeley’s lectures are online.

    I totally agree about the TV – in fact I don’t even own one!

    Reply
  3. MLDina

    While I agree most YouTube videos are meant to be viral, I’ve found some great tutorials on the site, too.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Well, aren’t you cute. :-)

    I just popped over here because your blog was recommended on a thread in the Finance forum of Fatwallet.com.

    I’ve only read your first entry but you are so right about uni courses online being a better use of 6 hours than some mind-numbing tv show.

    These days blogs are a dime a dozen and a lot of folks think they have something interesting to say when they really don’t, so I avoid them (just as I avoid youtube, your current topic, and I have only ever visited it about 5 times), but I get a ‘sparkly’ feeling (my own description, not a medical term, ha ha) just from the one post I’ve read of yours, so I will probably visit you again someday.

    Best wishes,
    CM

    Reply
  5. Laura @ BeyondBeerMoney

    Great post!

    I also love Ted Talks (ted.com)a site where they post lectures by some of the most fascinating, important people on the planet.

    Reply
  6. Option Maestro

    I like using Youtube mainly to watch music videos. I also like uploading the short economic movies I make.

    Reply
  7. Sheila

    Nev-
    Have “YOU” seen the “BUGS” fighting in Japan On YOU Tube?

    Type in Bugs fighting, it’s their addictive past time for moneye/etc.

    Blessings and Hugs, SHEExooo

    I’m sure you know me by now, been dropping my turds here for awhile today lol Sorry! That just came out… Then I smiled…
    Have a GREAT day, OFF to the Flea Market –

    What’s your views on Flea Market Treasures and find and Yard Sales…? I WONDER…. Anything to Share!!!!!!!!!??? Thanks for the exciting and not so exciting Info. on YOU Tube from your direction Nev! I want to put cooking segements on mine. I love to cook, a step by step approach, People might like… I hope to anyway, real soon, right now my job (School Bus Driver, C.D.L.) keeps me busy with 9 rtes a day. Summers are off tho’ and there would my time be -

    Reply
  8. Jason

    Nev,

    Great post. I always wondered why more and more Universities did not go online. Maybe its a way of controlling or maintaining their degree credibility? However, it would be great for those who live in small communities who don’t have the money to travel or for accommodation in another city to access the University’s teachings online utilizing technology.

    Reply
  9. Finance Goooroo

    You said it just right. I used to find myself watching pointless videos on YouTube all the time; Well, I didn’t realize they were useless at the time. Now that I think about it, I wasted so much time on that website, and if I could, I would take that time back — but sadly we don’t have that technology yet. I now tend to watch a lot of videos on affiliate marketing, SEO, and such, mostly made by guru’s in the area. So I guess YouTube can be pretty useful after all. Feel free to have a look at Finance Advisory Stop which I created after being inspired by all the people posting their website success stories on YouTube.

    Reply
  10. Unsecuredbizloan.com

    When it comes to youtube and its usefullness and its greatness I agree. I am sure someday (like in all things) something bigger and better will come along, but for now I find it a great tool. It is a good free way to start out any online business, get noticed, share your opinions, etc. I find that youtube has become a great part of society as a whole, but benefits entrepreneurs and small businesses.

    Reply
  11. Ares

    YouTube has become one of the best resources we have to learn about just about anything! This speaks to the generosity of users, and the spirit of the net.

    Reply
  12. Cap

    I generally try to avoid youtube too, because it can be a major time sink (and personally if I want to waste time, porn seems like a better way to go – haha jk).

    But lately you can find many produced content slowly being archived on youtube, which is pretty sweet in itself. And yeah, occasionally you’ll find someone uploading goodies like an entire interview w/ Conan from fans like 69conebone – which is a goldmine for people like me w/o cable. Must watch before the copyright hammer strikes?

    Reply
  13. Benjamin Lee

    Though simple but very nice tips and tricks to get what we want. This is information at fingertips.

    Reply
  14. SQUEAKS

    I learned to crochet on tube, dance, play the guitar and apply makeup. And my brother found advice on a car problem.

    Everything I know in the world I learned on Youtube, just kidding.

    Reply
  15. Pingback: Inside the Actors Studio | Neville's Financial Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>