NetGuide NZ - Layman’s explanation of YouTube

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Layman’s explanation of YouTube

Social media plays a major role in how we communicate, share files and photos, do business, and meet new people. We have witnessed the power of social media through the rise of YouTube stars and videos like KONY 2012, which had the ability to bring people from all over the world together in an online community for change. We have watched movies about Facebook (The Social Network), started making phone calls and conducting meetings over Skype, and watched celebrities repeatedly stick a foot in their mouths using Twitter.

It has come to the point where there are so many different social media platforms out there, we are beginning to lose track. And for those of us who never quite latched on to the social media bandwagon in the first place (which has now obviously proven to be much more than just a bandwagon!) this article is for you. So you can finally learn your tweets from your pokes, your hashtags from your diggs.

Part three of our series explains the basics of YouTube below. While tomorrow we will be explaining Skype.


Summary: A video-sharing website popular for user-generated content, video clips, and video blogging.

Background: YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, while Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo, and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site today.

Use it for: watching and sharing funny or informative videos from around the world (and again, a great procrastination tool!)

From a business perspective: One of the best venues to build your brand through video blogs and tutorials. However, traffic is often limited to the site and difficult to redirect back to a primary website.

The Basics
Recommended Videos
YouTube will recommend videos based on the number of views they have received or, if you have watched other videos on YouTube, based on your personal tastes.

Some people have multiple videos, usually following a common theme, categorized as a “channel” (as opposed to just a couple of random/unrelated videos).

If you find a YouTube Channel you enjoy, you can subscribe for easy access to all of that particular user’s content.

YouTube users have the ability to vote videos up or down with the like or unlike buttons.

Usually refers to viewer count, which keeps a record of the number of views a video receives.

Getting Started

  • To enjoy YouTube, all you need to do is go to and search for any video, song, or topic you want to watch.

  • If you would like to upload your own videos to YouTube, follow these steps:

    1. First you’ll need a YouTube account. Go to and sign up.

    2. Next, log in and click the ‘upload’ link at the top of the page.

    3. Click the ‘Upload video’ tab and select your video from your hard drive and you’re done.

  • For ultimate hands free viewing of YouTube you can’t beat playlists. Playlists allow you to select your favourite videos and play them back to back without constantly returning to your computer. It’s also a great way to share collections of your favourite videos with friends.

  • Once you have a YouTube account, you can also comment on other videos.

Are you keen to hear from an expert in this field?

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