Thursday, May 28, 2009

7 Alternative Uses for Youtube: Finding the Useful Side of The Video-Sharing Site

Let's face it. Too many of us are spending way too much time on YouTube searching up the latest uselessly silly but somehow trendy videos by NigaHiga or whoever else. Sometimes it is a good dose of entertainment but when you get hooked, spending an hour or even half an hour every day on this video-sharing site, then you have a problem. YouTube should be a utility and not a time-waster so here are 7 good alternative uses for YouTube.

7. Product reviews

Reading a long, grueling product review just to pick out a few important points for 10 minutes is gruesome. On the other hand, watching a 10-minute video on the pros and cons of a product is less so. Trusted media sites and everyday people alike post videos on their favorite and least favorite things, often profane but often useful as well.

6. Getting caught up in the world

If you missed Obama's historic inauguration address, millions tuned into YouTube to watch clips of it in relatively high quality. They weren't captivated by the live moment but it's still nice to know a few good lines from the speech. There are tons of other speeches, news conferences and sporting event highlights displayed on the famed video site.

5. Expressing opinions

Here's my video on staying in Iraq and the dilemma surrounding the Iraq war. Here's another one, a prepared speech on brand name obsession, our adoration of the Abercrombies, Hollisters, American Eagles and Aeropostales. YouTube is a useful way to vent emotions and give honest opinions and insight, receiving public reaction that you could not get from just telling a few friends. Plus, you might get your four minutes of fame.

4. Instruction/Advice

Seminars are constantly posted up that might offer you some life-changing words of wisdom that you'll be able to credit YouTube for. Then there are other simple instructional videos on everyday things, from turning off a calculator to cooling a coke to making your own karaoke tracks.

3. Audio player

If you don't want to listen to radio, don't have an MP3 player, and don't have any tracks stored on your computer, then YouTube is the best option as an audio player. Just type in virtually any song and it's bound to be on YouTube. Most people like it for it's convenience and how easy it is to share music. You can just paste a link and people will be able to hear what you're hearing.

2. Promotion

Organizers might promote their event, start-up bands might promote their CDs, aspiring authors could promote their writing and publishers can promote their websites. Overall, YouTube is a great way to get publicity because no matter what, you are going to get at least 50 views within a month to pretty much any video. That's 100 more eyes on you.

1. Research

There's a lot of intriguing stuff that surprisingly never gets the millions of views that the stupid stuff gets. For a debate, I watched a few videos on gun control. And you can find videos posted by news agency, advocacy groups, companies and more on any issue. But that's not all. YouTube can be Wikipedia in videos and that's what I envision.

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