"How-To" Videos -- The Unsung Heroes of YouTube!


With so much criticism lately being directed at the more "unsavory"
content on YouTube that I've discussed previously, it might be easy to
lose track of why I'm still one of YouTube's biggest fans.

Anyone could be forgiven for forgetting that despite highly offensive
or even dangerous videos on YouTube that can attract millions of views
and understandable public scrutiny, there are many other types of YT
videos that attract much less attention but collectively do an
incalculably large amount of good.

One example is YT's utterly enormous collection of legitimate and
incredibly helpful "How-To" videos -- covering a breathtaking array of

I'm not referring here to "formal" education videos -- though these
are also present in tremendous numbers and are usually very welcome
indeed. Nor am I just now discussing product installation and similar
videos often posted by commercial firms -- though these are also often
genuinely useful.

Rather, today I'd like to highlight the wonders of "informal" YT
videos that walk viewers through the "how-to" or other explanatory
steps regarding pretty much any possible topic involving computers,
electronics, plumbing, homemaking, hobbies, sports -- seemingly almost
everything under the sun.

These videos are typically created by a cast and crew of one
individual, often without any formal on-screen titles, background
music or other "fancy" production values.

It's not uncommon to never see the face of these videos' creators.
Often you'll just see their hands at a table or workbench -- and hear
their informal voice narration -- as they proceed through the learning
steps of whatever topic that they wish to share.

These videos tend with remarkable frequency to begin with the creator
saying "Hi guys!" or "Hey guys!" -- and often when you find them
they'll only have accumulated a few thousand views or even fewer.

I've been helped by videos like these innumerable times over the
years, likely saving me thousands of dollars and vast numbers of
wasted hours -- permitting me to accomplish by myself projects that
otherwise would have been expensive to have done by others, and
helping me to avoid costly repair mistakes as well.

To my mind, these kinds of "how-to" creators and their videos aren't
just among the best parts of YouTube, but they're also shining stars
that represent much of what we many years ago had hoped the Internet
would grow into being.

These videos are the result of individuals simply wanting to share
knowledge to help other people. These creators aren't looking for fame
or recognition -- typically their videos aren't even monetized.

These "how-to" video makers are among the very best not only of
YouTube and of the Internet -- but of humanity in general as well. The
urge to help others is among our species' most admirable traits --
something to keep in mind when the toxic wasteland of Internet abuses,
racism, politicians, sociopathic presidents -- and all the rest --
really start to get you down.

And that's the truth.

Lauren Weinstein (lau...@vortex.com): https://www.vortex.com/lauren 
Lauren's Blog: https://lauren.vortex.com
Google Issues Mailing List: https://vortex.com/google-issues
Founder: Network Neutrality Squad: https://www.nnsquad.org 
         PRIVACY Forum: https://www.vortex.com/privacy-info
Co-Founder: People For Internet Responsibility: https://www.pfir.org/pfir-info
Member: ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy
Google+: https://google.com/+LaurenWeinstein
Twitter: https://twitter.com/laurenweinstein
Tel: +1 (818) 225-2800
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