In preparation for an upcoming interview, I faced the question, "What is your favourite Google product or tool?"
Two answers come to mind quickly, Blogger and YouTube. It was on further probing of my mind that I realised just how truly useful YouTube is. I've known I've loved the platform for a good few years now, but really it has changed a lot of the things I do in my life. I decided that my main reasons for loving this platform fall under 3 categories.
Number 1. Relatable reality.
I'm not too sure when reality T.V. first came around, but seeing as Big Brother is in the late teens of existence it must've been around 20 years ago now. Increasingly reality T.V. has grown in popularity with channels such as E! and MTV showing The Hills, Kardashians etc.. depicting real life scenarios, that can be somewhat staged. Even if the shows are all staged, they are meant to represent real life situations. I believe ITV has recently created a channel solely devoted to reality shows called ITVbe showing TOWIE etc..
So when YouTube came along, born from that was amateur content. And this amateur content has proved immensely successful. From my years of watching YouTubers, in recent months one cannot ignore the vlog-style videos. A kind of follow me around, day in the life style video, with many content creators uploading a video each and every day such as the Shaytards.
It has been amazing to watch this style of video grow in popularity and it says something about the content viewers like to see these days. Staged, choreographed and scripted shows still survive, but the real growth is in mundane but real-life content.
Number 2. Informal instructions.
Like many people out there, I often struggled to study by putting my head in a book and reading, or listening to lectures, or answering questions in an exercise book. YouTube has opened up a new way of intaking knowledge. A quick search of keywords in the search bar, and one in inundated with options to watch cooking videos, language lessons, knitting techniques etc.. The way in which these videos are structured can vary from taught classes to interactive engagements with the audience.
My favourite kind of instructional video to watch is that of an expert in their field mumbling on about certain scenarios. I find that is what suits me, and where I extract the most relatable and interesting facts or snippets of information for later use. For others, step by step videos take preference. But the learner is no longer subjected to one strict way of intaking information.
Number 3. Politically correct policies.
I happen to know quite a bit about YouTube policies, and how and why they are implemented so strictly. Protection of identity, of minors, of shocking or abusive content, is something we all want for the internet, but what I most admire about YouTube is that they stand firm against corporate or governmental threats in hosting content. It is no secret that YouTube gets into an awful lot of trouble with nations and political parties, but while YouTube profits suffer when they become banned or restricted in countries, they remain firm in their stance as a platform which supports the freedom of speech.