Getting the most out of YouTube

There’s more to this hugely popular website than videos of cute cats.

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YouTube was started in 2005 by three PayPal friends as a way of sharing video clips with the rest of the world. The very first clip, ‘Meet me at the zoo’, was uploaded on Saturday, 23 April, 2005 by Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of the website. (Here’s a link to that first video)

In 2006, Google bought the company for $1,65 billion (R19 billion at today’s exchange rate). At the time, with only about 65 employees, YouTube boasted more than 700 million views a week and Google declared it “the next step in the evolution of the Internet”. They were not far wrong. Today, more video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than all three of the top US TV networks have created in 60 years.

According to ebizmba. com, the latest statistics, released this January, show that Google is the most visited website, with more than 1,2 billion ‘unique monthly visitors’ (multiple visits are not counted). Next is YouTube; about one billion people visit the site at least once a month. (Facebook, incidentally, is third, with approximately 900 monthly visitors, followed by Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia and Twitter in that order.)

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Free and user-friendly
A YouTube account is free and can be created via your Google account. Once you have signed up, the site assigns you a personal ‘channel’ which you get to name yourself. A channel is where you upload all of your videos.
You can also subscribe to other channels devoted to topics that interest you. These can be accessed by clicking on your user name. You will also be notified when new videos are uploaded.

Ideal resource for farmers
Like all farmers, I have a long list of DIY tasks. These jobs often require some ingenuity and I have to make do with the tools
and skills I have at hand. YouTube is valuable in this respect and one particularly useful resource is a channel devoted to welding:

‘Chuck’ says: “I make how-tos, project/build videos, welding-related product videos, and sometimes videos that fall into none of these categories.”

Sources:,, and