Archive for November, 2012

YouTube Channels Worth Your Waste of Time

It’s no secret that I spend entirely way too much time on YouTube. The video site halts any sort of productivity. That said, the time spent isn’t entirely wasted. Some of the channels are actually rather informative. Or at the very least, entertainingly thought-provoking. So, I thought I would waste your time listing off the YouTube channels that waste my time…productively.

The VlogBrothers

John Green already made a name for himself as a young adult author. I even did a review of one of his books some time ago. His brother, Hank, already had a gig as a…honestly, I dunno. I think he was just always an Internet Renaissance Man with inhuman multitasking skills.

In late-2006 – when YouTube was still in its infancy – the brothers Green swore off standard mediums of contact to vlog (videoblog) at each other every day for a year. The experiment was dubbed “Brotherhood 2.0”, and it made them an Internet sensation. After the project ended, they decided to continue the format (or rather, John did), and several years later, they’re still at it.

Their videos are insightful, educational, and downright inspiring. That and they were instrumental in defining the YouTube community that exists today. Several other spinoff channels were spawned by the brothers for educational purposes, included (but not limited to) SciShow and CrashCourse. And I won’t even go into the number of websites they’ve spawned. That barely scratches the surface of their far-reaching, new media grasp.

In summary, they’re a force for good, and not for – as they put it – “worldsuck”.

PBS Idea Channel

This is a relatively new addition to the YouTube sphere. It’s first video was uploaded on March 14th of this year, and was the product of PBS Digital Studios. Former Know Your Meme alum, Mike Rugnetta, is the host and head-writer. The focus of the channel is difficult to describe. Rugnetta’s opening phrase sums it up rather nicely, though: “Here’s an idea…”

From what I can tell, the focus is on philosophy and Internet culture and how the two converge. It is not a channel for the faint of attention span. That said, Rugnetta and co. make the material they discuss rather approachable. Heck, even the ideas of Kierkegaard are utilized in a fairly straightforward manner, and his writings are anything but.

Everything from bronies to webcomics is given ample textual dissection. Another breath of fresh air is the video comments. YouTube is infamous for the rampant retardation of some of its viewers. Trolling is commonplace. As are grammatical mishaps. On PBS Idea’s channel, some quality control appears to be in effect. I go here once a week for a dose of mind-fellatio.

SourceFed

I hate the news; I refuse to watch it because it sours my mood. As a result, I sometimes come across like a Luddite living under a rock. Thanks to channels like SourceFed, I – at least –  stay informed on a cursory level. Part of the Philip DeFranco umbrella, SourceFed began its life as a news aggregation site before evolving into a five-upload-a-day news spot on YouTube proper.

One of the hosts – Joe Bereta – was already a relatively well-known Internet celebrity; half of the comedy sketch duo Barats and Bereta. The others…um…never heard of ‘em. But the chemistry of the participants involved worked. That and they somehow made news entertaining. Either that or I’m just old enough to find it entertaining.

Whatever.

Point being, their “20-Minutes-or-Less” snippets are a must-watch for me – daily.  That and I have an unrequited crush on the hostess, Lee Newton. Women that cute can’t be that witty. They just can’t! It totally ruins my paradigm.

(Swoon.)

My only gripe is their weekend content. Seriously, guys, lose your movie shows. They don’t work. At all. Your hosts can’t adore every movie they watch. Not possible. Unless they’re ferrets.

Conclusion (Finally)

That about covers my favorite totally-worth-it YouTube timewasters. If you’ll excuse me, I have cat videos that demand my undivided attention. And an actual cat that’s screaming at me for more food.

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Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 Musings 2 Comments

I work for tea money.

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