The Internet – the greatest resource mankind has ever created, and also its greatest distraction. You could go on the Internet and learn new languages, research into the biggest questions of the universe, or perform a full DNA analysis of yourself. Or you could laugh at a silly picture of a dog.
Nowhere is this balance better displayed than on YouTube.
The world’s leading video site can be a great tool for self-improvement. It can also keep you distracted with hours and hours of entertaining, albeit pointless, videos. Today, we’re going to cross the spectrum, from channels devoted to teaching you things, to those purpose built to make you laugh.
In truth, most of the videos you’ll want to watch in order to learn something, such as how to tie a tie, or how to cook chicken burritos, will be found with a simple search. You won’t necessarily find one channel that collates every “How to” video you could ever want. But there are many channels that take aim at either a specific skill-set, or information you never knew about.
Take Veritasium. This channel is devoted to explaining some of the wonders of science. But this doesn’t mean they spend every video talking about deep science. For example, there are videos wherein the host takes a walk around Chernobyl, and this one where they explain the physics behind slinkys. If history is more your bag, you could check out Crash Course. It’s a humourous look at major events of the past, but it is packed with information.
If you really want to take it up a notch, try TED Talks. This channel sources experts on a wide range of subjects. It covers science and history, but also mathematics, psychology, technology, and everything in between. You are bound to find something enlightening in its vast selection of videos. If you are thinking about making your own video tutorial , check out this guide for some guidelines.
When it comes to music on YouTube, there is only one name in town – Vevo. You’ve probably seen this name tacked on to the end of various artists YouTube channels. Their top 5 video channels include:
● Katy Perry
● One Direction
● Taylor Swift
Their reach crosses all genres. You’ll find classic rockers Bon Jovi rubbing shoulders with Adele. DJ Calvin Harris sits alongside Drake. And so on.
For those not looking for the corporate feel, there are YouTube success stories. You may have stumbled upon the Epic Rap Battles of History. These humorous battle raps pitch two historical figures against each other. Darth Vader vs. Adolf Hitler, anyone?
For something more mainstream, try Zeldaxlove64. This is the channel of Christina Grimmie, who found fame on the site before progressing all the way to an actual record deal. She is not alone on YouTube, as it has become a mecca for aspiring singers and bands, desperate to get their music out there. Whatever you’re into, there is an indie scene for you to check out on the site.
Just as with music, the range of comedy channels on YouTube is vast, covering every humour type imaginable. As sketch comedy has deserted TV, it has found a home on YT. Channels like College Humour and Cracked offer up this kind of content, with polished videos and slick writing.
But the bulk of YT comedy is driven by individuals. Names like Jenna Marbles, Ray William Johnson, Kassem G and KSI have all made it big on the site with their personal exploits, becoming internet celebrities. Whole companies have sprung up, like Smosh, Epic Meal Time and Sourcefed, all offering several series under one banner. In many ways, YouTube comedy is starting to mimic TV, only much more thinly spread and diverse.
Some channels even cover all three sectors we’ve covered today. Comedy duo Rhett and Link, for example, not only produce songs, sketches, and humourous daily videos under the guise of Good Mythical Morning, but they also have a partnership with Lynda, a video hub that teaches people all about online production and editing techniques!